Maloney, Schakowsky Introduce Resolution supporting CEDAW Ratification on International Women’s Day

Mar 8, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswomen Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) today, on International Women’s Day, reintroduced a resolution calling for the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This landmark international agreement, adopted by the United Nations in 1979, mandates that governments take positive steps toward the advancement of women and eradicate laws, customs, and practices that discriminate against women.

“On International Women’s Day, the world comes together to recognize that women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights,” said Rep. Maloney. “As we continue to see women’s rights abused around the world, and political attacks on women’s rights here at home, it is even more important than ever that Congress takes a stand by ratifying the most comprehensive international agreement on women's rights, CEDAW. We need to ratify CEDAW and affirm our standing as a global leader for the rights of women and girls.”

“Thirty years ago, the United Nations adopted the CEDAW, a treaty to establish gender equality and to eliminate female oppression. Though providing the world’s women with equal rights and equal opportunities will take more than an agreement on paper, I have long been disappointed that the United States is one of only six UN member states who have refused to ratify the CEDAW,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “When girls and women live in security – free from violence – they can go to school, start businesses, help their families prosper, and even serve their nation. This International Women’s Day, I call on my colleagues in the Senate to finally ratify the CEDAW as an enormous step in the right direction. I am so proud to join my good friend Representative Maloney in reintroducing this important resolution.”


International Women’s Day is commemorated each year on March 8th around the world to honor women and recognize their economic, political and social achievements.

189 countries have ratified CEDAW, affirming their commitment to the enforcement of laws protecting women and against violence of any kind occurring domestically, at work, or in any sphere of a woman’s life.  The U.S. is the only western country in the world that has not ratified CEDAW, joining the ranks of Somalia and Iran. 

CEDAW is an important tool in combating discrimination and human rights abuses against women around the world.  As a result, its ratification would provide a catalyst for the U.S. to examine areas of persistent discrimination against women.