WHAT IS THE CITIES FOR CEDAW CAMPAIGN?
Cities for CEDAW is a campaign to protect the rights of women and girls by passing ordinances establishing the principles of CEDAW in cities and towns across the United States
The campaign was launched at a meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2013 by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NGO/CSW NY) that supports the work of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and UN Women. NGO/CSW NY created “Cities for CEDAW” and joined with two founding partners: The Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN) and The San Francisco Department on the Status of Women (DOSW). In 2015, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights joined the campaign to help build capacity and provide educational resources to inform and mobilize individuals to take action in their local areas to promote adoption of CEDAW principles for the Cities for CEDAW campaign.
The campaign is a grassroots effort that provides tools and leadership to empower local women’s, civil and human rights organizations and municipalities to effectively initiate CEDAW within their city, county, town, or state. These ordinances work to ‘make the global local’ and protect women and girls by requiring three key components: a gender analysis of city departments and operations; an oversight body to monitor the implementation of a local CEDAW ordinance; and funding to support the implementation of the principles of CEDAW.
Adopting CEDAW as local law has been proven to effectively address barriers that reduce the quality of life and equity of opportunity for women and girls.
WHAT IS CEDAW?
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, is a United Nations treaty for all women’s equality. It is the only international human rights treaty that focuses on women’s rights and provides a universal definition of discrimination against women so those who would discriminate on the basis of sex can no longer claim that no clear definition exists. It also calls for action to eliminate discrimination in many areas including politics, law, employment, education and health care. Read more here: UN Office of the High Commissioner – CEDAW.
WHY DO WE NEED A CITIES FOR CEDAW CAMPAIGN?
The US signed CEDAW in 1979, but the US Senate has not ratified it despite on-going advocacy in favor of ratification from diverse civil society organizations working at the national level. San Francisco adopted a breakthrough ordinance implementing and enforcing the provisions of CEDAW within municipal government in 1998. Los Angeles and other cities across the country have since adopted similar ordinances.
Mayors of both San Francisco and Los Angeles believe that the CEDAW ordinances have materially improved the lives of women in their municipalities and fostered more transparent and accountable governance.
The Cities for CEDAW campaign hopes to increase awareness of, strong support for CEDAW implementation and demonstrate its usefulness as a tool for achieving gender equity: in political participation and representation, in income and earnings, in access to healthcare throughout the life cycle and in public and personal safety..
WHAT ARE ADVOCATES, CITIES, AND COUNTIES DOING TO ADVANCE HUMAN RIGHTS THROUGH CEDAW?
Learn More on our Resources Page.