Despite the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee approving the draft International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) in December 2010, the U.S. needs to do more to advance and protect the rights of women. If the IVAWA passes, this legislation would apparently make women’s equality and ending gender-based violence around the world a priority for the U.S.
Yet the U.S. has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The U.S. is only one of seven countries in the world – including Sudan, Somalia and Iran – not to have ratified this major global women’s rights treaty, the most comprehensive international agreement on basic rights for women.
The U.S.’ failure to ratify the CEDAW undermines its credibility and integrity to stand for the human rights of women globally through the IVAWA. How will the U.S. further women’s economic and educational rights or stop violence against women, when it joins countries with abominable human rights records by not ratifying the CEDAW? The U.S. can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk?