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Saudi Arabia Ratifies Portions of CEDAW – A Step Forward

Saudi Arabia has agreed to support some portions of the United Nations law on women’s rights known as CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). CEDAW is the first convention to comprehensively address women’s rights within political, cultural, economic, social, and family life. The United Nations adopted CEDAW in 1979. While the Saudi government has agreed to support some measures of the Convention, they refuse to follow any part of the Convention that is in opposition to Islamic law. A Saudi cabinet statement said the country would not follow rules of the Convention that gave women “equal rights with men with respect to the nationality of their children.” As of June 2000, 165 countries have ratified the Convention despite the U.S. failure to ratify. CEDAW is being blocked by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair, Sen. Jesse Helms (R – North Carolina). Go to our Take Action Center for more information on this issue.

Sources:

Washington Post - August 23, 2000

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