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Cities For CEDAW



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Cities For CEDAW

  2. 2. Is There Discrimination In Your Town?
  3. 3. Indicators of Sex Discrimination More than 20% of women students have and will experience a completed and/or attempted rape during their college career. Two million U.S. women report injuries from current or former partners and one in five US women will be the victim of gender-based violence in her lifetime. The economic gap between men and women continues, with women earning only 77¢ for every dollar a man makes. Over a 40 year career, an average woman will earn $434,000 less than her male counterpart and in retirement receive a proportionately smaller pension or social security check. Unlike all other developed nations, the maternal death rate in the U.S. is rising One in five pregnant women are without health insurance. Despite a net gain in the number of women in congress, the U.S. ranking has dropped to 83rd on the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s census of women in national legislatures globally.
  4. 4. The U.S. Constitution does not grant equal rights to women and U.S. law does not adequately and consistently define discrimination
  5. 5. CEDAW Provides a clear, comprehensive and internationally recognized legal definition of DISCRIMINATION,* currently lacking in U.S. jurisprudence and law: "...any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field." *This legal definition of discrimination is consistent with that encoded into the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
  6. 6. What Is CEDAW? CEDAW is the acronym for the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. CEDAW is an international human rights treaty that went into effect as international law in 1981. U.N. Member States (countries) that participate in the treaty are obligated to integrate CEDAW’s provisions for eliminating discrimination into their national constitutions and laws, their structures and procedures of governance, and court rulings.
  7. 7. What Does CEDAW Accomplish? By adopting CEDAW, countries commit to undertake measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including: • Adopt principle of equality of men and women in the legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt laws prohibiting discrimination against women; • Establish boards and public bodies to ensure protection of women against discrimination; and • Ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises.
  8. 8. Although 187 Countries have already done so . . .
  9. 9. You don’t need to be a nation state to adopt CEDAW Over 40 cities and towns have passed resolutions endorsing CEDAW ratification; Over 20 state legislatures have passed resolutions endorsing CEDAW; San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland (OR) and Berkeley (CA) have all adopted CEDAW as municipal law.
  10. 10. “Where, after all, do universal rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works.” Eleanor Roosevelt, remarks delivered at the United Nations in New York on March 27, 1958
  11. 11. While the CEDAW Treaty operates at the International level, the San Francisco municipal CEDAW Ordinance adopted in 1999 brings accountability for gender equality into the hallways, conference rooms, sidewalks, and streets of local city and county government.
  12. 12. CEDAW’S History in the U.S. 1980 • President Jimmy Carter signed CEDAW 1994 • Approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with bipartisan support 2002 • Again approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with bipartisan support 2010 • Senator Durbin held a hearing on CEDAW in a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee 2011 • Senators Boxer and Casey held a hearing on Women and Arab Spring which highlighted CEDAW But CEDAW has still not been adopted nationally.
  13. 13. Senate Hearing Reignites Hope For CEDAW and I-VAWA On June 24th, 2014 Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee chair Senator Barbara Boxer held a hearing, featuring testimony by an unprecedented number of women senators, who called for action on CEDAW and VAWA to stem the tide of violence against women and girls across the globe. But no action was taken on a national level.
  14. 14. Why not? Hundreds of civic, religious and labor organizations have endorsed CEDAW ratification. All established social science methods for predicting human rights treaty ratification indicate that the U.S. would have ratified CEDAW decades ago. In her book "Defying Convention" author Lisa Baldez highlights why the U.S. Senate has not ratified CEDAW including: The deeply partisan nature of women's rights initiatives in the US Basic disagreements about how treaties work Inertia
  15. 15. Women must act to end discrimination NOW • We cannot wait any longer. • Cities and towns can adopt municipal ordinances implementing CEDAW’s standards of discrimination and accountability measures, bypassing the Senate’s inertia. • We can learn from these local innovations in improved service delivery, budgetary allocations and staffing practices, • While creating a better future for today’s children and the planet.
  16. 16. The Goals of the Cities for CEDAW Campaign are Clear: • 100 Mayors speak out for CEDAW by June 2015; • 100 municipal CEDAW ordinances adopted by January 2016; • Improve the lives of millions of women; • Build critical mass at the grassroots for national ratification.
  17. 17. WHAT CAN YOU DO?  Raise awareness of the issues  Propose solutions  Create the political will within Civil Society to effect change
  18. 18. Apply CEDAW to Local Municipalities Every municipal ordinance may be unique in responding to local governmental structures and culture. However, we’ve learned from those cities that have already adopted CEDAW that effective implementation requires: • Active support from local government leaders; • Gender analysis to ensure gender responsive allocation of public resources; • Relevant data collection to enable gender analysis and implement measures; • A mechanism for funding these activities; • Partnership with civil society groups and individual women in the community.
  19. 19. How CEDAW is making change in San Francisco San Francisco adopted a CEDAW implementation ordinance in 1999. Since then: • Public Works placed greater street lighting for better safety. • Department of Juvenile Probation Created a “girls unit” providing gender-specific, trauma-focused services for girls. • Increase in female employment in professional jobs within the city of San Francisco • Gender Equality Principles Initiative to expand gender analysis. • Reduction in domestic violence
  21. 21. Then What?  Stay connected by signing up for our mailing list at  Use the resources on our website to learn more about CEDAW and about the 100 Cities for CEDAW Campaign  When you’re ready to start, form a local coalition  Investigate discrimination as it is happening in your town  Design a local ordinance that will address these concerns using CEDAW’s definition of discrimination and a human rights approach  Give as generously as you can to keep this campaign on track! Remember: 100 U.S. Cities for CEDAW by January 2016
  22. 22. Thank you for your interest in the Cities for CEDAW Campaign. We look forward to working with you to end discrimination in your city. Copyright 2014, Nancy Rock and Laura Roskos. Our heartfelt gratitude to Ione Biggs and Billie Heller for starting this work and our special thanks to Mary Sue Barnett, Rachel Crosby, Krishanti Dhamaraj, Nancy Munger, Emily Murase and Soon-Young Yoon for their assistance with this presentation.

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