The United States has failed to successfully comply with standards for women’s human rights set out by the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, according to a report recently released by a coalition of US nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to gender equality. The 60-page “Gender Shadow Report,” submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on June 15, points to inadequate constitutional protections, weakened governmental monitoring of inequalities, unscientific sex education programs, inhumane treatment of incarcerated women and increasingly harsh immigration and asylum laws as the most egregious of US government violations.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) contributed to the report, noting that the present government is “reducing funds and dismantling programs adopted over the past 40 years that have promoted equality for women.” As a whole, the report beseeches the UN committee to “explore with the US” actions to remedy the identified problems, including that the US institute adequate monitoring of preexisting statutes that protect equality, that women prisoners have access to the full spectrum of reproductive rights, and that the US ensure accurate an unbiased sexuality education in its schools.
Numerous groups contributed to the creation of the Gender Shadow Report, including the Human Rights Advocates International (New York), International Gender Organization, International Women’s Rights Action Watch, Legal Momentum, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, and the NOW Foundation. The National Council of Women’s Organizations, which represents 200 women’s groups in the United States with over 10 million members, endorsed the report.