US Resolution on Women’s Political Participation Doesn’t Include CEDAW

The US Mission to the United Nations has proposed a draft resolution entitled “Women and Political Participation” that does not include any reference to the International Women’s Treaty, CEDAW.

At an briefing today for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the US Representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey, was asked why the current draft of the resolution did not contain language referring to CEDAW. Sauebrrey stated the United States is not party to CEDAW but because it is an issue desired by other members that a reference to CEDAW will be in the next draft of the resolution, though she did not state what the exact language of that reference would be. In addition, when discussing women’s participation at the political level Sauerbrey asserted “women by nature are not risk takers.”

174 countries have ratified CEDAW. The United States is one of only seventeen countries that have not ratified the CEDAW standing with countries like Iran and the Sudan. The Bush administration has not taken a position on CEDAW, but the United States continues to avoid ratifying the treaty. In addition, women make up only 14 percent of Congress and 22 percent of state legislatures.

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NGO briefing on "Women and Political Participation" 10/9/03

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