The U.S. Senate today is holding its first hearings on the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in nearly a decade. This is one of those treaties, like the Convention on the Rights of the Child, that pretty much every government in the world has ratified except the United States. (The USA’s company includes: Iran, Sudan, and Somalia.)
President Carter signed the treaty in 1980, but the full Senate has never taken a vote. Ratification has been difficult because CEDAW has become a weapon in America’s culture war, particularly among politicians who (wrongly) believe it is a cover for pressuring the United States to ease abortion restrictions.
Still, it is excellent to see this issue getting some attention. In fact, moments ago, Sandra Day O’Conner, the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice (and a Republican appointee), released a letter in support of U.S. ratification. Have a read.