Women's Rights: Time to Radify CEDAW

Time to Ratify Women's Treaty, Groups Urge

by Haider Rizvi for Common Dreams

UNITED NATIONS - Rights activists in the United States are urging their newly-elected government to support global initiatives aimed at protecting women's rights.

"If Barack Obama wants one important thing to do for women, he will direct the U.S. Senate to ratify CEDAW," said Ritu Sharma, a leading women's rights activist.

CEDAW is the acronym for the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which has been endorsed by over 170 countries.

In the past three decades, U.S. policymakers rejected CEDAW by reasoning that women in the United States already enjoyed legal protections against violence and discrimination.

But rights activists counter that the U.S. refusal to ratify the treaty encourages repressive regimes to promote discriminatory practices against women.

"There is no reason for us to wait for the U.S. ratification of CEDAW," said Sharma, who leads the Women's Edge Coalition, which comprises hundreds rights groups worldwide. Read More.