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Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

In brief: The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United Nations in 1979 and is the most comprehensive international agreement on the basic human rights of women. In the nations that have ratified the treaty, CEDAW has been instrumental in fighting the effects of discrimination, which include violence, poverty, lack of legal protections, property rights and access to credit.

The United States is the only nation in the Western Hemisphere and the only industrialized democracy that has not ratified CEDAW. Only seven other countries have not ratified CEDAW, including Iran, Sudan and Somalia. 

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The General Federation of Women's Clubs supports the United Nations and the United States participation in the United Nations, and encourages the U.S. to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

By accepting CEDAW, countries commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including:

Learn More

»Read the full text of CEDAW

»Support basic rights for all women: urge the U.S. to ratify CEDAW

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