Your Ignorant Lady Ostrich Report
October 9, 2009 Leave a comment
So, CEDAW, the little piece of politics that we should know about, but we don’t. Like the Hyde Ammendment (which removes funding for abortion from federally funded healthcare), it’s one of those that I’d never heard of, and when I did, I felt like a chump, jerk and ignorant lady ostrich. Why? Well, CEDAW is full of good intentions, and the United States, our grand nation, wants none of it.
CEDAW is the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and it’s considered to be an international bill of rights for women. The US, which has signed the treaty, is the only developed nation to not have ratified it. Only six other members of the UN are not on board: Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Tonga, Palau, Nauru. The Vatican City hasn’t signed, either.
According to the UN site, if we ratify, the US is legally bound to
undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including:
- to incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women;
- to establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; and
- to ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises.
- Assigning women to all parts of military service
- mandating paid maternity leave
- legislating equality in the private sector (does this mean it can’t be illegal to discriminate gender outside of government?)
- No restrictions will be made on freedom of speech because of the Convention
- Free health services for women will be determined by the state and not mandated by the fed
- “nothing in this convention shall be construed to reflect or create any right to abortion and in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning,” (added by the late Jessie Helms R-NC)
Other chafing at the treaty has come from anti-feminist groups worried that the treaty seeks to promote radical feminism and subvert traditional gender roles and family values. Countries that practice Shariah law also find that the treaty has a Western bias, and does not account for other cultural practices.