30 Sep US Ratification of CEDAW: Worldwide Impact
Earlier this year, we sent you an update on the United Nations treaty for women – called the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and why we oppose its ratification. The United States of America is one of the few countries of the world that has not ratified this treaty. By so doing other countries resist ratification protecting untold numbers of families around the world from the affects of this treaty. Unfortunately, due to the new US administration’s support of the treaty, CEDAW is once again passing through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and on its way to the Senate floor for ratification. Your support is needed in stopping this international treaty from becoming national law.
CEDAW was first sent to the U.S. for ratification during the Carter administration and has since reappeared numerous times in the Senate. The last unsuccessful attempt to ratify CEDAW was in 2002. During the debates in the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the committee added several RUDs-standing for reservations, understandings and declarations-that limited the scope of the convention in regards to abortion, paid maternity, and female military combat. Yet, some argued that these stipulations still exposed the government to too much external oversight and control, while others argued the stipulations undermined the intentions of the treaty. As a result, the treaty never reached the Senate floor for ratification.
Now with the change of administration, a new attempt at ratification has begun again. Already approved in the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee, the treaty is now under discussion in the Senate Foreign Relations full committee, where Senator John Kerry, D-MA, seeks to strip the treaty of the stipulations established in 2002 and pass the treaty onto the Senate floor for ratification without any protection for U.S. sovereignty.
What is CEDAW
CEDAW is promoted as a tool to end abuses against women and girls, such as trafficking in women, sex-selective abortion, infanticide, domestic violence, genital mutilation and other acts of violence and discrimination against women. It works by requiring ratifying nations to file reports outlining how they are complying with the treaty. The reports are reviewed by 23 individuals elected by the states that have ratified the treaty. As the United States has refused to ratify the treaty, this committee consists of representatives of foreign governments. This committee provides guidelines to countries and enforces them through economic pressure or threat of international law.
Radical women’s rights advocates have used this treaty to push the passage and enforcement of laws in the countries that have ratified the treaty. In fact, according to Human Rights Brief, “some countries have incorporated provisions of the treaty directly into their national law, and courts have cited CEDAW in decisions ranging from requiring protection from domestic violence to enabling women to inherit property.”
Dangers of CEDAW
The treaty poses an unseen, yet very real threat. Yes, many of the rights CEDAW promotes are central to the promotion of women’s rights throughout the world. However, as with much UN legislation, the danger lies in how the treaty can and is being utilized by radical feminists. Rather than simply protecting unborn babies from sex-selective abortion, the treaty has been interpreted to give women of all ages the right to state-sanctioned, and funded, abortions. In other countries, the treaty, promoted as a stay against sex-trafficking, has been used to push for laws legalizing prostitution. Although designed to protect women’s rights, it is being used to promote practices that directly undermine the importance of women in society and the traditional structures designed to protect them.
The dangers of CEDAW, therefore, clearly outweigh the benefits. The United States already has laws in place to protect the women’s rights outlined in the treaty. However, by ratifying the treaty, the U.S. subordinates the Constitution to international law and exposes us to oversight and regulation by an unaccountable UN committee with a radical agenda. The members of the CEDAW committee are given power and authority over treaty countries without an appeal process, subjecting all U.S. legislation to the CEDAW committee’s radical agenda and loose interpretation of the treaty. This is a direct threat to U.S. sovereignty.
Please understand that UFI does not sanction or endorse any of the horrific violent crimes committed against women around the world that CEDAW promises to eradicate. However, we strongly oppose the imposition of a UN committee’s radical agenda on the U.S. and particularly on developing countries highly vulnerable to the political pressure of the international community.
What you can do
The U.S. Senate must not ratify CEDAW! If the United States reverses its position and ratifies the treaty, the Constitution of the United States will be subordinate to the dictates of unaccountable international bureaucrats pursuing a radical feminist agenda without adding any additional protection for women around the world.
International supporters of the family should raise their objections by letting the U.S. Government know that you do not support ratification of CEDAW. Please contact the U.S. Mission to the UN by emailing Ambassador Susan Rice at www.usunnewyork.usmission.gov
American citizens should contact their senators to voice their opposition to ratification of this disastrous treaty. Contact them by clicking here and locating your senator.
United Families International
As this edition of the UFI Weekly Alert clearly shows, the fight to save the family is escalating. A once dead treaty, negotiated more than three decades ago and pronounced as to radical to ratify, again threatens us all. At UFI we are rising to the fight with expanded programs and reinvigorated dedication to protect the family as the fundamental unit of society. But we can’t defeat a well funded, aggressive, opposition without your help. The halls of the UN are far from you front door, but the impact will hit directly in your family room.
Please send us your contribution today to preserve the Constitution of the United States as a model for international liberty and to protect the true rights of women everywhere. Your contribution of $25, $50, $100, or whatever you can afford is needed now more than ever! Can we count on you?
Michael N. Duff
United Families International