Before CEDAW there was no international legal mechanism in place that called on states to assess gender inequalities in their country. The Convention draws attention to 30 articles that deal with discrimination on the basis of being a woman. The treaty is divided into six parts - all related to ensuring that women are able to enjoy their “fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,” as stated in the preamble of the UDHR [Universal Declaration of Human Rights].
NCRW asked leading research and policy expert Linda Tarr-Whelan to weigh in on the status of CEDAW. In addition to her responses, below is an excerpt from a previously published commentary from Linda featured on Women’s eNEws and The Huffington Post.
On Dec. 18, 1979, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, or CEDAW, making it a watershed day for women around the globe.
In those heady days, I was deputy assistant to President Jimmy Carter for women's concerns. We expected speedy action after he sent the treaty to the Senate.
The bumper sticker on my wife’s car reads, “Well-behaved women seldom make history!” I believe proponents of CEDAW, the Women’s Treaty, have been minding their manners a bit too much. CEDAW is the most important international mechanism for women’s equality, and provides a universal standard for women’s human rights. The treaty is a basic framework for ending violence against women, ensuring girls access to education, and promoting economic opportunity and political participation for women.
Submitted by jonathan on Tue, 07/06/2010 - 12:12pm
July 25, 2009 postedy by Amanda Harris*
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) families movement is a growing movement within the broader LGBTQ rights movement that focuses its attention and advocacy on the welfare of families with LGBTQ members.
Submitted by jonathan on Tue, 07/06/2010 - 12:05pm
July 28, 2009 posted by Julie and Scott Zeilinger*
My family’s feminism is rooted deeply in our Jewish heritage. As Jews, my family has been used to being misunderstood and the victims of prejudice. The adversity my family has had to deal with in the past as minorities in the face of ignorance has made us sensitive to the power dynamics that exist in certain circles of society. In order to cope with such ignorance, my family along with many other Jews ingrained a philosophy of independence into our culture. My family, both generations past and present, believe that one must create justice where none exists.
Submitted by jonathan on Tue, 07/06/2010 - 12:02pm
July 29, 2009 posted by Linda Basch Last Sunday marked the 15th annual observance of National Parents’ Day, a holiday established to “uplift ideal parental role models.”Originally introduced into Congress by Senator Trent Lott, in 1994, then-President Bill Clinton formally established the fourth Sunday of July as National Parents’ Day. Generally, this holiday is used to promote the image of two-parent, “traditional” families.
As ethnic tension boils over into violence in Kyrgyzstan this week, rumors have begun to surface on the ground that amid the rioting, shooting and chaos, Kyrgyz women are being raped. Whether or not the rumor is true, the situation is all too familiar. When violence breaks out, women and girls, already vulnerable, are often among the first casualties, and the violence is often systematic, designed to demoralize their communities.
Earlier this month, the Women's Media Center featured an excellent "exclusive" written by Kenyan feminist and scholar Achola O. Pala. Presenting a perspective too often unheard within women's activist communities, Pala argues that feminists from formerly colonized countries should look to their own cultural heritage for guideposts in creating greater justice in their communities. Here are two gems to whet your appetite:
Women's groups are upset over the Obama's administration lack of progress on women's issues. Many activists feel that the administration is not taking enough initiative to move the issues that affect women forward.
"Many women's groups feel that the Obama administration has not made the promised progress on issues affecting women. Advocates request stronger leadership, funding on the Violence Against Women Act, and ensuring that the Paycheck Fairness Act gets passed through Congress. In addition, they cite the White House Council on Women and Girls as a "real disappointment" and "form over substance.
To be sure, there's no doubt that some progress has been made. If Elena Kagan is confirmed, a third of the nation's highest court will be female, thanks to Obama's nomination of Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor last year; the hate crimes legislation included gender identity and gender; the Obama administration has strengthened Title IX; and the health care bill did increase access to ob-gyn and midwifery care and mandate that some insurance companies stop charging women of the same age and health status more for insurance than men, a practice known as "gender rating." Also, this is the first administration to have a White House advisor on violence against women"