I’m writing to call on the New York City Council to adopt the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The United States has not ratified it, but cities around the country (San Francisco in particular) have taken the initiative to adopt CEDAW, and it is time for New York City to do the same. By providing a comprehensive definition of what constitutes discrimination against women and by outlining steps that governments can take to prevent discrimination against women, CEDAW would be pivotal in ensuring gender equality and in protecting women’s rights.
In 2010, the City Council introduced the Human Rights Governmental Operations Audit Law, which included CEDAW and its provisions. It also included the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and would have created a task force to monitor gender and racial discrimination in New York City. Although the bill wasn’t called for a vote, it had 30 co-sponsors — among them were current Public Advocate Letitia James and current Speaker of the City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito.
We are calling on Speaker Mark-Viverito to introduce and bring up the Human Rights GOAL for a vote, and for the entire City Council to pass it. It’s time that New York take this critical step and this bold stance toward establishing greater equality and fairness for women. If any of your readers would like to join us as we continue to advocate for CEDAW’s adoption, they can email us at email@example.com or find us on Twitter (@NEQForAction) or Facebook.