UNified for the UN on Women’s Rights

The cozy meeting room B of the Iowa City Public Library housed an hour of discussion for the end of discrimination against women on April 26. The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), under the United Nations Economic and Social Council, is dedicated to gender equality and women’s advancement. A powerpoint displayed the CSW, some history, and the connection to CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. A mass of information was somehow worked into about ten slides, but some great discussion followed.

CEDAW came to life from the Commission on the Status of Women. The Convention contains thirty articles that provide a fundamental framework for ending international violence against women, ensuring girls access to education, and promoting economic opportunity and political participation for women. 186 countries have ratified CEDAW. The United States is the only democratic nation to have failed to do so, standing with Sudan, Iran, and Somalia.

The United States should strive to be a leader and set an example for the rest of the world in its commitment to women and expanding women’s rights. That is why we must get together to discuss the significance of CEDAW, and encourage ratification. We can write letters to Senator Grassley and Senator Harkin urging the immediate ratification of CEDAW, and we must. Discussion included other options for attracting others to working for CEDAW ratification, which will be included in the plan for the future. Work will continue to reach a world of gender equality.

Emily, UN blogger

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