President Carter sent CEDAW to the U.S. Senate for advice and consent in 1980. It remains in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The Senate has held hearings on CEDAW five times in the past 25 years but failed each time to bring the treaty to a vote on the floor. Why?
Conservative organizations, such as the Home School Legal Defense Association
and Concerned Women for America
, vehemently oppose the ratification of all human rights treaties. They insist that human rights treaties violate American sovereignty. Thirty-eight Republican senators demonstrated this last December, when they refused to join their more moderate colleagues in ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
CEDAW establishes the moral, civic and political equality of women and protects women's right to be free from discrimination and violence. Thanks to CEDAW, these values have diffused around the world.
Conservative critics are wrong when they claim that CEDAW reflects radical feminist views. In fact, a Republican woman, Nixon appointee Patricia Hutar
, persuaded the United Nations to draft CEDAW. On January 30, 1974, President Nixon called for the U.S. government to commemorate International Women's Year at all levels.