Cities for CEDAW

Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

CEDAW (Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) is an international treaty adopted by the UN in 1979 that has yet to be ratified by the U.S Senate. Cities for CEDAW is a campaign to protect the rights of women and girls by passing ordinances establishing the principles of CEDAW in cities and towns across the United States.

About the Program

Cities for CEDAW 2022-2023 Annual Report

WomenNC spearheaded the Cities and Counties for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) movement in North Carolina, which seeks to enshrine principles of gender equity into local political deliberative processes.

The Cities for CEDAW campaign is a grassroots effort that provides tools and leadership to empower local women’s, civil and human rights organizations and municipalities to effectively initiate CEDAW within their city, county, town, or state. CEDAW is an international women's human rights treaty ratified by 189 countries after it was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. The United States is one of the only countries that has not ratified the treaty. As a result, localized efforts to establish the principles of CEDAW in cities and counties around the country have emerged through the Cities for CEDAW movement. Th goal of the Cities for CEDAW movement is for cities, counties, or towns to pass a local ordinance to initiate CEDAW in which they conduct gender analysis of their government departments and operations, establish an oversight body to monitor the implementation of the ordinance, and allocate funding to support any initiatives related to the establishment of CEDAW principles. The ultimate goal of Cities for CEDAW are to improve the status of women locally by recognizing problems, changing the policies, allocating funding for childcare and healthcare, addressing violence against women, closing the wage gap, encouraging women as leaders, reducing homelessness, eliminating sexual assault, establishing LGBTQ+ rights, and so much more.

Through this program, WomenNC advocates for gender equity in local, state, and international arenas. Armed with research and recommendations, our scholars present their findings to and advocate in front of local elected officials, community members, and international officials and activists at the United Nations’ annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to improve the lives of women and girls.

These ordinances work to ‘make the global local’ and protect women and girls by requiring three key components:

  • A gender analysis of city departments and operations;
  • An oversight body to monitor the implementation of a local CEDAW ordinance
  • Funding to support the implementation of the principles of CEDAW.

WomenNC is the lead organization for the Cities for CEDAW campaign in North Carolina. Due in large measure to the organizing and advocacy efforts of WomenNC staff, Board, and volunteers, two municipalities, Durham County and Durham City became the first regions in North Carolina to pass resolutions in support of CEDAW by respectively, creating sustainable mechanisms for ensuring gender equity by requiring them to evaluate their programs and budgets annually to ensure that each addresses barriers to equality faced by women.These resolutions create a backbone for municipal staff, councils, commissions, and other stakeholders to effect systematic change to improve the lives of women and girls in their communities.

On 9 December, NGO CSW/NY hosted an official side event The Summit for Democracy convened by the U.S. Department of State, Democracy for Human Rights Through CEDAW.  The presentation by Soon Young-Yoon of the International Alliance of Women explains why the Cities for CEDAW movement is imperative for the United States, one of only a very few countries that have not adopted the international Human right's treaty, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, at the national level.  WomenNC is the lead organization of the NC Coalition for CEDAW and leads the effort in North Carolina. Durham City and County have adopted resolutions in support of CEDAW.  Help us make more cities and counties more equal places for women by donating TODAY!

Why Cities For CEDAW? A Global Roadmap for Human Rights

Our Recent Work with Cities for CEDAW

WomenNC continues to work with the Durham Women’s Commission and the Durham Mayor’s Council for Women to end gender discrimination by providing research and advocacy around issue of concern to women.

Jackie Lanning
The Impact of Environmental Toxins on Maternal & Child Health in Durham, North Carolina
Samia Noor
How to Reduce Violence Against Women Who Experience Intimate Partner Violence in Durham, North Carolina
Bridget Pittman-Blackwell
An Examination of Dress Code Policies Influencing Body Shame, Sexualization and the Learning Environment of African American Middle School Girls
Isa van der Drift
Barriers to Reproductive Health and Economic Empowerment in Durham, NC

WomenNC is made possible by contributions from the public.

Our work begins with understanding gender disparities, then formulating solutions to overcome them, and finally, advocating for change.  WomenNC scholars call out inequality and injustice wherever they see it. Help us create enduring equality for women and girls in North Carolina... and across the globe by donating now!
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