Since 1981, AAUW has endorsed the ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Also known as the Women’s Rights Treaty, it is the most comprehensive agreement addressing international women’s rights. The treaty can be an effective tool in reducing violence and discrimination against women and girls, ensuring access to education and health care, and preventing other human rights abuses.

Although the U.S. played a defining role in drafting the convention and signed the treaty in 1980, it remains the only industrialized country to fail to ratify it. In fact, while 185 countries have ratified the treaty, the U.S. is one of only eight countries that have yet to do so, standing alongside Sudan, Iran, Qatar, Somalia, Nauru, Palau, and Tonga. While the treaty has enjoyed bipartisan support in the U.S., it has never made it to the Senate floor for a full vote. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in 1994 and in 2002 to send the treaty to the floor for ratification, but the Senate recessed each time before the vote occurred.

The week of May 14, AAUW joins more than 200 leading organizations nationwide in supporting ratification of CEDAW. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, we advocate for basic rights for mothers and all women around the world.

Take Action!
To urge your senators to ratify CEDAW, just click on the “Take Action” link in the upper right corner or copy and paste the following URL into your Internet browser.  Then, follow the instructions to send a message to your U.S. Senators.