September 4, 2012

Women's Equality Day

Did you know that last Sunday, August 26 was a historic day for women?  Ninety-two years ago, U.S. women won the right to vote after many years of painstaking struggle and hard work by courageous suffragists.  This historic moment is commemorated each year on Women’s Equality Day, August 26.

As you know, much of the work to ensure equality for women remains unfinished.  Among the many factors that have attempted to move the needle on equality for women and girls is CEDAW, an international agreement affirming principles of human rights and equality for women and girls around the world.  Adopted by the United Nations in 1979, 185 countries have ratified CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), creating standards in the treatment and rights of women.

The United States is among 6 countries across the globe that has not yet ratified CEDAW: The Treaty for the Rights of Women, the most complete international agreement on basic human rights for women.  (Among the other countries yet to ratify are Iran, Sudan, and Somalia.)

In countries that have ratified CEDAW, women have partnered with their governments to improve the status of women and girls, and as a result have changed laws and policies to create greater safety and opportunity for women and their families. CEDAW can make a difference for women and girls, specifically to:
×          reduce sex trafficking & domestic violence
×          provide access to education & vocational training
×          ensure the right to vote
×          end forced marriage & child marriage & ensure inheritance rights
×          help mothers and families by providing access to maternal health care
×          ensure the right to work & own a business without discrimination

Because of CEDAW, millions of girls around the world receive primary education; countries have taken measures against sex slavery, domestic violence and trafficking of women and girls; women’s health care services have focused on saving lives during pregnancy and childbirth; and millions of women now have the opportunity to secure loans and the right to own and inherit property.  To learn more:

All the more important for the work of Chrysalis to be strategic, meaningful, and results-oriented.