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The horrifying gang rape and subsequent death of a student in India ignited protests in support of changing laws and cultural views on women. This unspeakable tragedy, coupled with the ongoing atrocities and injustices facing the world's female population, should also remind the United States to finally ratify the United Nations "bill of rights for women."

The U.S. was a primary drafter of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women when President Carter signed it in 1980, but it has inexplicably lingered in the Senate for over 30 years. Only eight countries have failed to ratify the convention, leaving the U.S. in the company of nations that adamantly oppress the rights of women, including Iran, Somalia, and Sudan.

This convention has been an important source of constitutional and cultural changes that support the global advancement of women. The Obama administration must move urgently to ratify this important convention.

Sign Here

Dear President Obama:

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) provides the basis for realizing equality between women and men by securing women's access to equal opportunities in political and public life, including the right to vote and to stand for election, as well as the right to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities.

Nations who ratify the convention agree to take all appropriate measures to ensure that women can enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms. They are also required to submit a report every four years to the convention's committee. This is a valuable, ongoing opportunity to identify shortcomings, track progress, and cultivate a dialog about ways to improve.

CEDAW is the only human rights treaty which affirms the reproductive rights of women and identifies culture and tradition as influential forces shaping gender roles and family relations. It affirms women's rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality and the nationality of their children. Ratifying nations also agree to take appropriate measures against all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of women.

CEDAW has been an important source of constitutional, legislative, and judicial change for the advancement of women abroad.

  • In Bangladesh, it facilitated the improvement gender parity in primary schools.
  • In Kenya, it helped remove barriers to land and inheritance rights for widows and daughters.
  • Afghanistan used it as a basis for a constitutional provision to guarantee men and women equal rights before the law.

U.S. diplomats and Americans who work in international organizations say that the failure to ratify impedes their efforts to advance the rights of girls and women abroad. Ratification would also benefit America, which still struggles with pay equity for women, paid maternity leave, and violence against women.

As you stated in your second inaugural speech in January of 2013, "Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts." Let ratification of CEDAW be one of your first steps in following through on that historical and heartfelt proclamation.

Petition Signatures

Feb 17, 2018 Rosemary Rannes
Feb 13, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 12, 2018 Susan Hinckley-Porter
Feb 6, 2018 H Sustaita
Feb 4, 2018 Tara Spires
Feb 3, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 1, 2018 Russell Jackson
Jan 29, 2018 Shabnam Shafiq
Jan 24, 2018 JoAnn Loomis All women deserve to be treated with respect.
Jan 22, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 18, 2018 Danielle Evans
Jan 14, 2018 Kathy Smith
Jan 12, 2018 Andrey Yushchenko
Jan 11, 2018 Tanja Stanfield
Jan 9, 2018 Janine Vetsch
Jan 9, 2018 libba halavey
Jan 7, 2018 thomas friedman
Jan 3, 2018 Robert Cooke, Jr.
Dec 26, 2017 Hillary Maurer
Dec 26, 2017 doris gonen
Dec 24, 2017 Kathie Skopek
Dec 22, 2017 Christian Müller
Dec 19, 2017 Richard Bosboom
Dec 18, 2017 Mary Jo Hajicek
Dec 17, 2017 Shirley Petersen
Dec 15, 2017 Robert Ortiz
Dec 14, 2017 teresa kravitz
Dec 13, 2017 Donna Brock
Dec 3, 2017 Amber Lopez
Dec 1, 2017 jane leavitt
Dec 1, 2017 Rebecca Lambert
Nov 29, 2017 Miriam Amari
Nov 29, 2017 DayLynn McDonald
Nov 26, 2017 barbara gale
Nov 25, 2017 Ashley Rozanski
Nov 25, 2017 Trudy Murray
Nov 24, 2017 Naomi Sobo
Nov 24, 2017 Brandon Woodward
Nov 24, 2017 Constance Jackson Again Women And Children LAST.
Nov 23, 2017 Patricia Ferguson
Nov 23, 2017 Karrie Vukelic
Nov 23, 2017 Terri Lynch
Nov 21, 2017 Kristie Hatton
Nov 21, 2017 Stacey Govito
Nov 17, 2017 J.B. Picot
Nov 17, 2017 Cynthia Marrs
Nov 14, 2017 sonia salgueiro
Nov 13, 2017 Renee McKenzie
Nov 13, 2017 Kimberly Boden
Nov 11, 2017 Jodi Ford

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