The Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law will hold a hearing for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) tomorrow at 2:00. Dick Durbin (D-IL) will chair the hearing. Melanne Verveer, the United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, actor Geena Davis, who appeared in Beetlejuice, The Fly, and Thelma and Louise, and Marcia Greenberger of the National Women’s Law Center will testify in support of ratifying CEDAW. The Heritage Foundation will testify against CEDAW.
Sixty women’s organizations have submitted supporting statements, including the Feminist Majority. 120 organizations have signed a joint statement in support of the immediate ratification of CEDAW. CEDAW was first signed by Jimmy Carter in 1979 and has been approved by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations twice, but the US has never ratified the treaty. The treaty has been ratified by 186 of the 193 member nations of the United Nations. The other six holdouts place the United States with strange bedfellows of Iran, Sudan, and Syria as well as the three small Pacific Island nations of Palau, Tonga and Nauru.