November 19 2010
Leftist Feminist groups like NOW are excited about yesterday's Judiciary Committee meeting (led by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)) about U.S. ratification of CEDAW- the Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. They need a pick-me-up after their unfair Paycheck Fairness Act failed earlier this week in the Senate.
Here's what the NOW press release said:
To date, 185 countries have ratified CEDAW, and even though the United States helped draft the treaty, it is the only industrialized country that has yet to ratify. The other six countries that have refused to ratify CEDAW are Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Nauru, Palau and Tonga.
CEDAW is the most comprehensive international agreement on the basic human rights of women and girls. U.S. ratification would lend weight to the treaty and the principle that women's human rights are universal across all cultures, nations and religions, and worthy of being guaranteed through international standards.
Matson noted: "Until the U.S. ratifies CEDAW, it can neither credibly demand that other countries live up to their obligations under the treaty, nor claim that it is a leader in the global human rights community."
We've all heard that "Actions speak louder than words." Well, when it comes women's human rights in the U.S., I'd say that reality speaks louder than CEDAW.
Yes it's true that the U.S. is in the company of Sudan and Somalia on the short list of naysayers. But guess who has ratified? 185 other countries - including Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, and Afghanistan to name a few. Would you rather be a woman here in the backwards U.S.A., or in one of these progressive countries?
The U.S., regardless of its ratification of this U.N. treaty, is indeed a leader in global human rights. Here are a few protections we have as American women:
The Due Process Clause:
From the Fifth Amendment: No person shall be...be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...
From the Fourteenth Amendment: ...Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...
Equal Protection under Law:
From the Fourteenth Amendment: No state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
These protections, along with many others, make the U.S. one of the greatest places in the world to be a woman. We are a leader by example. As IWF has written about again and again and again, women in the U.S. have made great strides and will continue to do so without CEDAW. We should encourage other countries throughout the world to imitate our constitutional rights of due process and equal protection for women, but the best encouragement we can give them is in the reality of our continued freedom and our continued success.