About Us Cities for CEDAW


CEDAW (Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) is an international treaty adopted by the UN in 1979 that has yet to be ratified by the U.S Senate. The Cities for CEDAW campaign is a grassroots effort that provides tools and leadership to empower local women’s organizations and municipalities and effectively initiate CEDAW within their city, county or state. The civil society campaign is led by the Women’s Intercultural Network in partnership with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights/The Leadership Conference Education Fund and the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York.

The aim of the Cities for CEDAW (The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) campaign is to “Make the Global Local” and protect the rights of women and girls by passing legislation establishing the principles of CEDAW in cities and towns across the United States.

Looking to get involved in or start a Cities for CEDAW campaign in your hometown? Take a look at our Cities for CEDAW: A Campaign to Make the Global Local toolkit.

In 1980, President Carter signed CEDAW the international women’s rights treaty, however it was not made law by Congress. So, in 1998, San Francisco – with a strong and effective women’s community – passed a CEDAW ordinance into city and county governance establishing the Department on the Status of Women. A few of years later, Los Angeles did the same. In both cities, CEDAW has made a measurable difference in public safety, budgetary allocations and employment. We need CEDAW in our cities now because it will help end violence against women, close the wage gap, and release women’s full potential at all levels!

The Cities for CEDAW campaign uses CEDAW, which is a comprehensive international women’s human rights treaty, as an overarching framework for advancing political and economic equality for women in the United States at the local level; while at the same time lifting up the necessity to ratify the treaty. By framing local concerns of gender equality and inclusion in a human rights context, the campaign underscores the importance of implementing gender responsive policies in cities nationwide.

Take Action in Your City

The NGO Committee on the Status of Women in New York, the Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN) and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (in conjunction with The Leadership Conference Education Fund) have developed an effective civil society campaign, Cities for CEDAW, to help you to take action in your city, activate the women’s and human rights community, gain agreement with local leaders to endorse CEDAW now, and work together to end discrimination against women. A list of cities that are actively engaged in the Cities for CEDAW campaign is available to view here. Click here to find more resourceson Cities for CEDAW, including resolutions, ordinances and reports. You may also sign up to participate and help make your city part of the campaign by clicking here.