Women's Equality Day, Focus on CEDAW
Eighty-nine years ago, U.S. women won the right to vote after many years of painstaking struggle and hard work by courageous suffragists. This historic moment is commemorated each year on Women's Equality Day, August 26. Today, the work of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers remains unfinished. The United States remains the only democracy in the world that has not ratified the CEDAW Treaty, putting our country in the dishonorable company of nations such as Iran, Somalia and Sudan.
The ratification of CEDAW by the United States is both necessary and urgent. Every day, women in the international community are denied equal access to the resources and rights to which they are entitled. The implementation of the treaty seeks to eradicate such inequalities on a global level. CEDAW has broad support from over two hundred leading advocacy organizations, including the AARP, American Association of University Women, and the American Bar Association.
Ratification of the treaty would increase the global influence of the United States as an advocate for women's rights, encouraging remaining nations to ratify as well. This would, in turn, strengthen general respect for human rights laws on an international level. Without ratification, the U.S. has no official standing to speak out against international violators of women's rights.
»Learn more about this important GFWC Priority Issue
»Read about why CEDAW is needed in the fight to protect women and insure their rights and why the US should ratify this important international treaty immediately
»Read about the Working Group on Ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and ways to get involved with the fight for women’s human rights
GFWC's Call to Action
- Pass this alert on to your fellow clubwomen, your friends, your family, and your community.
- Share the details of violence against women around the world. (PDF)
- Inform local newspapers, radio stations, and local television news of the issue. Write a letter to the editor to raise awareness of the systemic discrimination against women around the world and the need for Congress to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
- Start your own CEDAW campaign with your fellow clubwomen with the help of this Amnesty International action kit.
- Join Amnesty International’s Umbrella Photo Petition to show your support for women’s human rights.
- Contact Congress immediately and let them know that you support the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination on All Forms of Discrimination Against Women as well as all programs to diminish gender-based discrimination. Urge your lawmakers to support immediate ratification of CEDAW.
- Contact your Senators on August 26, Women’s Equality Day, to help send a powerful message that ratification of CEDAW is necessary in the continuing push for women’s rights around the world.
- Find out where your lawmakers stand, and contact them directly. You can find your lawmakers contact information online at the Senate and House of Representatives websites.