The Feminist Majority strongly supports and advocates for the U.S Ratification of the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Adopted by the United Nations on December 18, 1979, CEDAW is the most comprehensive and detailed international agreement which seeks the advancement of women. Ratified by 187 out of 193 nations, the United States is the only industrialized country that has not ratified the treaty, putting us in the company of countries such as Sudan, Iran and Somalia.
CEDAW was signed by President Jimmy Carter in1970, but a two-thirds vote of the Senate is required to ratify international treaties. No action is required by the House.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by then Senator Joseph Biden, voted to send CEDAW to the floor in 2002, but it was never scheduled for a vote by the full Senate.
The Feminist Majority continues to work, in coalition with a broad range of women’s rights, civil rights and human rights organizations, towards the ratification of CEDAW. Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have expressed strong support for CEDAW. However, the makeup of the current Senate has prevented any action during this Congress.