Women of the Senate take the stand for IVAWA + CEDAW.

WASHINGTON – Today, the Feminist Majority joins with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and women of the Senate in decrying violence against women and girls across the globe, and calls on the Senate to take action to ratify CEDAW and pass the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA).

Of the 187 nations that have ratified the Convention to Eliminate All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)—a critical tool in combating violence against women worldwide—the US is nowhere to be found.

Only seven member countries of the United Nations have not adopted CEDAW. “The United States is in the illustrious company of Iran, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and two small Pacific Islander states in failing to ratify CEDAW. How can this be?” Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal said today.

“The United States ratification of the CEDAW treaty would not only enhance its status, but also make it a more effective tool in combating violence against women,” Smeal continued. “The women of the world are looking to the U.S. for leadership on this issue. We can no longer remain silent.”

The Feminist Majority joins 74 other organizations in thanking Sen. Barbara Boxer, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy, and Global Women’s Issues for taking this important first step in moving the United States’ to action on this human rights crisis.

“We know for a fact: when we eliminate discrimination, we raise the status of women,” Smeal said. “It’s time for the United States to stop talking about ending violence against women in the world, and make it a real priority by joining the international community and passing IVAWA.”

CEDAW has been used in setting the standard for nations in their work to reduce violence against women and girls. Activists in Afghanistan looked to CEDAW as a model for their proposed Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The South Korean Women’s Movements Against Gender Violence looked to CEDAW as a guide for their laws on domestic violence.

Add your voice to the conversation! Tell the Senate, #WomenDemandCEDAW!


Global Women’s Rights: CEDAW,