CEDAW Quick Facts

What is CEDAW?

  • The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an international treaty that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. It is a flagship treaty that has been referred to as a “Bill of Rights” for women and is the most comprehensive international treaty that focuses on women’s rights.

Why has the U.S. not implemented CEDAW?

  • The United States is one of only six states that have failed to ratify the Convention (along with Palau, Tonga, Iran, Sudan, and Somalia).
  • President Jimmy Carter signed CEDAW in 1980 and it received bipartisan support twice in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1994 and 2002). To bring the treaty into effect, it must be ratified by the U.S. Senate after signed by the President. To date, the treaty has not been brought to the Senate floor for a full vote, which requires a 2/3rds majority vote for ratification.

What is Cities for CEDAW?

  • Cities for CEDAW is a grassroots initiative aimed at implementing CEDAW at the local level through resolutions and ordinances in order to build support for a national-level ratification of CEDAW by the U.S. Senate.
  • Implementing CEDAW locally through City Ordinances allows local cities throughout the U.S. to improve gender equality issues and end discriminatory policies and practices.

What does local CEDAW implementation do?

  • Local implementation of CEDAW at its minimum includes three elements:

1. Gender analysis of city operations (workforce, programs, budget) to ensure that they are non-discriminatory

2. Establishment of an oversight body to monitor CEDAW implementation through local ordinance

3. Securing funding to support the implementation of CEDAW and its principles

What Cities have implemented CEDAW?

  • San Francisco, CA (1998) – full ordinance
  •  Los Angeles, CA (2003) – full ordinance
  • Louisville, KY (2014) – resolution in support and future ordinance
  • Berkeley, CA (2012) – ordinance
  • Daly City, CA (2014) – mayoral letter of support stating intentions of bringing forth ordinance
  • Cincinnati, OH (2015) – resolution in support and future ordinance
  • University City, MO (2015) – resolution in support

What has UNA-Tampa Bay done so far?

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