Cities for CEDAW: Notes on Effective Intervention

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Jan Marie FRITZ, University of Cincinnati, USA
The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on December 18, 1979. The treaty has thirty articles and covers topics such as educational opportunities; sex trafficking; women’s rights in political and public life; access to health care; rural women; women’s economic and social rights; and equality in marriage and family life.

. The United States (US) is one of the few UN Member States that has not ratified CEDAW. In the US, there has been a movement to have cities declare themselves as CEDAW cities. This initiative has the support of the United States Conference of Mayors (2014). This kind of effort raises awareness about CEDAW, provides a framework for community action and calls attention to the fact that the US has not ratified the treaty.

Cincinnati, Ohio is now considered a City for CEDAW. Based on my experience as a founder of the Cincinnati for CEDAW Community Coalition, a number of points may be made about effective intervention: identify needed community partners; do not underestimate the importance of political will; provide adequate financing; develop "right-sized" basic documents (e.g., resolution, ordinance); help set priorities and timelines; discuss girls as well as women; look for opportunities to use the different levels of intervention to support the initiative; and make plans for community monitoring.