October 28, 2016
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NOW Urges President To Lead In Ratifying CEDAW, Women's Rights Treaty

 Urge President Obama to Lead in Ratifying CEDAW, Women's Rights Treaty

Tell Obama

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Action Needed:

Ask President Obama to take leadership to ratify CEDAW, the critically important women's rights treaty. President Obama should call upon the U.S. Senate to conduct hearings and finalize ratification of CEDAW. Sign our petition (to be delivered at the end of March, Women's History Month) or use our talking points in the background section to call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or fax them at (202) 456-2461.

On this International Women's Day, March 8, we are reminded that much remains to be done to advance the basic human rights of women in the United States and around the world. There is no Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. Constitution and for more than 30 years the U.S. has failed to ratify CEDAW -- the most complete international agreement advancing basic human rights for women. Today, the National Organization for Women and NOW Foundation launch our campaign, RATIFY WOMEN!

Take action NOW!


CEDAW stands for The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women and the convention (or treaty) has been ratified by 185 nations. Despite our 30 years of foot-dragging, the United States was one of the key leaders in drafting this treaty which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1979. Yet today we stand outside of the mainstream international community and are no longer a world leader in human rights by our failure to ratify the Women's Rights Treaty. The United States is the only industrialized nation to not have ratified CEDAW and, as a result, joins with such objectionable outliers as Sudan, Iran and Somalia.

Failure by the largest, most powerful and wealthiest nation in the world to ratify this critically-important Women's Rights Treaty is absolutely shameful. NOW, NOW Foundation and our Global Feminist Issues and Strategies Committee want you to turn up the pressure on the Administration by asking President Obama to take leadership in getting CEDAW ratified.

There are many websites that provide information on CEDAW. You can read the text of the treaty, its history and more about how other nations use CEDAW.

Take action NOW!

Below are a number of talking points from our RATIFY WOMEN! Campaign for you to stress in advocating for ratification

Why It's Important

  • CEDAW is the most comprehensive international agreement on the basic human rights of women and girls
  • U.S. ratification would lend weight to the treaty and the principle that human rights of women are universal across all cultures, nations and religions and worthy of being guaranteed through international human rights standards
  • Until the U.S. ratifies CEDAW, it can neither credibly demand that others live up to their obligations under the treaty, nor that it is a leader in the global human rights community

What CEDAW Has Helped Achieve in Other Countries

  • Reducing the sexual enslavement and trafficking of women and girls
  • Securing basic legal recourse to women and girls against violence and abuses of their human rights
  • Freeing access to primary education and health care where it had previously been denied
  • Saving lives during pregnancy and childbirth
  • Acknowledging the basic right to own and inherit property, including helping to secure essential development loans to poor women

Ratifying CEDAW is a Pledge to do the Right Thing for Women

  • Take concrete action to improve the status of women in the U.S. and around the world
  • Take measures to ensure that women enjoy basic human rights and fundamental freedoms
  • Establish judicial procedures to ensure the effective protection of the rights of women
  • Take appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women by individuals, organizations and enterprises
  • Submit national reports every four years on actions taken to comply with the treaty's pledge to protect and promote the rights of women and girls in the U.S.

Now is the time to act. The year 2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, and with International Women's Day on March 8, this is the perfect opportunity to raise your voice. We need you to tell President Obama that we have waited long enough. Ask the President to make it known to Senate leaders that the U.S. should ratify CEDAW NOW!


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