The city of Louisville, Kentucky approved a resolution that will use the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as a framework for all future policy aimed at ending gender-based discrimination.
Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh introduced the resolution, which passed overwhelmingly on November 6. The resolution declares that the city of Louisville is committed to eliminating violence against women and girls, promoting the health of safety of women and girls, and providing equal academic, economic, and business opportunities in the city.
Several state and local governments have passed local CEDAW resolutions, and two cities have passed CEDAW ordinances, including San Francisco, California, in 1998, and Los Angeles, California, in 2003.
The Louisville resolution was supported by the Louisville Coalition for CEDAW and praised by Cities for CEDAW, a campaign of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women/New York (NGO/CSW NY) that “promotes the adoption of CEDAW principles in cities large and small as a framework for improving the status of women and girls.” The Cities for CEDAW campaign plans to recruit 100 US municipalities to implement CEDAW locally.
The campaign is built around the idea that the fastest growing and most politically influential bases are cities. The UNA-SF estimates that by 2050, nearly 80 percent of the world’s women and girls will live in urban areas, and in the US, the number of women in leadership roles at the municipal level is quickly growing. According to the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University, there are 249 female mayors of US cities with populations over 30,000 – the greatest raw value of any elective office in the US.
Every participating city’s CEDAW ordinance must fulfill three requirements: a gender analysis of city operations; the establishment of an oversight body; and funding to support the full implementation of the principles of CEDAW.
The US was instrumental in drafting CEDAW, and President Jimmy Carter signed the treaty on July 17, 1980. However, the US has never ratified the treaty which is the most comprehensive and detailed international agreement which seeks the advancement of women. It establishes rights for women in areas not previously subject to international standards. Now, the US is one of only 7 countries that still have not ratified the treaty.
Take Action: Tell your Senator to support CEDAW!
Media Resources: Louisville Kentucky Government 11/14/14; CitiesForCEDAW.org; United Nations Association of the United States of America-San Francisco Chapter 2/28/14; Center for American Women in Politics Fact Sheet on Women in Elective Office 11/2014; The Women’s Treaty: CEDAW