UU Women and Religion

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CEDAW Ratification Reminder

The following may not be news to you, but I would, now, like to present a bit of education about CEDAW, the U.N. Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. I’m sure you realize that such discrimination is the first step toward violence against women. I’m drawing the following information from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s curriculum, Gender Justice: Women’s Rights are Human Rights. There’re also websites about it: www.womenstreaty.org and www.CEDAW2010.org.

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee has confronted political, cultural and economic oppression throughout the world for over 66 years. They tell us that as a U.N. convention, CEDAW’s main key to U.S. usefulness is the definition it gives for what discrimination against women is. It is any distinction or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of human rights. Article 2 mandates governmental condemnation of discrimination against women in all its forms and to ensure that national legal frameworks embody the principles of equality between men and women.

I learned on the womenstreaty website that President Obama's administration strongly supports U.S. ratification and has included CEDAW as one of the five multilateral treaties it has identified as a priority. So, with each Senatorial election, such as the one coming up in November, many of us who are educating the candidates of all parties (for whom we are the constituents) to try to get them to declare their support for ratification.

Before we go to the polls, November 2, let's educate our U.S. Senatorial candidates to endorse ratification of CEDAW!