Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a meeting with Catherine Ashton, the top diplomat for the European Union and Michelle Bachelet, executive director of UN Women and the former president of Chile, signed a document in support of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). “We call upon all States to ratify and fulfill their obligations under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and to implement fully Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women and Peace and Security and other relevant UN resolutions,” the women leaders wrote in their joint statement.

Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues at the State Department, told the Huffington Post, “I’ve testified that around the world, the number one question I’m asked is why hasn’t the U.S. ratified CEDAW. We would be much stronger if we could be in the right place, but it’s up to the Senate.”

CEDAW was first signed by Jimmy Carter in 1980 and has been approved by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations twice, but the United States has never ratified the treaty. The treaty has been ratified by 186 of the 193 member nations of the United Nations. The other six nations that have not signed the treaty are Iran, the Republic of the Sudan, and Syria, as well as the three small Pacific Island nations of Palau, Tonga and Nauru.

Huffington Post 9/20/11; Joint Declaration: On Advancing Women’s Political Participation 9/19/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/17/11

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