CEDAW Harms Families

Concerned Women for America 7 May 2010
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is a United Nations (U.N.) treaty that compels countries to change their laws and culture to abolish distinctions between men and women. If the U.S. ratifies CEDAW, it would impact every aspect of life and place Americans under the supervision of a U.N. committee of “gender experts.”

Under the guise of “eliminating discrimination against women,” CEDAW would limit Americans’ freedom to make personal, professional and political decisions – such as family duties, parental rights, religious exercise, education, employment, and political representation. Government agents and an unaccountable U.N. Committee would be free to impose a radical vision of restructuring society according to “gender experts.”

America’s Founding Fathers trusted that the U.S. would not adopt a treaty that violates our Constitution. CEDAW is a direct threat to the hard-fought American right of self-determination. It would radically alter the U.S. by handing over the right of “we the people” to decide our laws and culture – even family decisions – to a U.N. committee of foreign representatives.

How CEDAW impacts families:
CEDAW undermines the traditional family. The treaty states, “A change in the traditional role of men as well as the role of women in society and in the family is needed to achieve full equality between men and women.” Article 5a requires countries to: “Modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women .” CEDAW is a global Equal Rights Amendment, a tool for radical feminists to impose their views upon all of society. It forbids recognizing the wonderful differences between men and women, even in the most personal relationships – family, marriage, and religious. CEDAW defines discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of sex,” in “any field.” This would invite an avalanche of frivolous lawsuits in the United States. CEDAW undercuts the role of parents in child rearing. Articles 5 and 16 affirm that in family matters “the interests of the children shall be paramount.” Who decides what is in a child’s “best interest”? What penalty would result from violating a child’s “best interest”? This superficial, feel-good statement places children in the hands of “experts” who follow the latest fads or believe governments can raise children better than parents. CEDAW would globalize abortion policy. Articles 12 and 14, section 2b, seek “to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, access to health care services, including those related to family planning” – rhetoric which can lead to open access to abortion. CEDAW seeks to indoctrinate children. The treaty requires that textbooks and teaching methods comply with CEDAW. Single-sex schools are prohibited because their “perspective” on gender is not acceptable. Taxpayers are forced to pay the cost of “gender neutralizing” textbooks and school programs to eliminate mentions of women as mothers. CEDAW encourages decriminalizing prostitution. Article 11, section 1(c), upholds “the right to free choice of profession and employment.” The Committee has included prostitution in that “free choice” – to the detriment of needy women around the world. Twenty-three international “experts” would govern U.S. policy. CEDAW Part V (Articles 17-22) creates a Committee of 23 “gender experts” to oversee the implementation of CEDAW. This places the welfare and well-being of American women and families at the mercy of foreign opinions. This committee includes representatives from China (which forcibly aborts women) and Cuba (which murders women who attempt to escape the island). Other representatives that have been on the committee, and could be again, are North Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Examples of CEDAW Committee’s rulings:
It “recommends the decriminalization of prostitution in China.” It criticized Belarus for “such symbols as a Mothers’ Day.” It criticized Mexico for a “lack of accessto easy and swift abortion.” It urged Finland to promote equal sharing of domestic and family tasks between women and men. It derided Slovenia because “less than 30 percent of children under three years of age were in formal day care.” It “expressed concern that women’s motherhood role was taking precedence over their professional and individual development” in Uzbekistan. It told Romania and Austria to integrate gender studies in schools. It criticized Croatia for not requiring hospitals and doctors to commit abortions. It criticized Ireland for “the influence of the Church in attitudes and stereotypes but also in official state policy.” It told Mexico it “would welcome a more equitable redistribution of wealth.”