It's Time to Ratify CEDAW!

December 10 marks the last day of the 16 Days Campaign, Human Rights Day, and Jane Addams Day in the state of Illinois.

The assault on women's rights will never end until there is a legal foundation for women’s claims of equality. 

End the war on women today. Tell the 113th Congress to halt the piecemeal erosion of women’s rights by ratifying CEDAW* in 2013. 


  • Remember that the Equal Rights Amendment was defeated. 
  • Remember that the Violence Against Women Act has not yet been reauthorized by Congress. 
  • Remember that reproductive freedom and sexual autonomy rests on court decisions not on legislation.
  • Remember that even with the gains made in this year’s elections, women still comprise only 20% of the U.S. House and Senate.
  • Remember that only seven countries, including Iran, Somalia and the U.S.A., have failed to ratify CEDAW.
If you would like some of WILPF's new War on Women buttons for an event or tabling, please contact Rose at

In 2012, we worked to get more women elected to the U.S. Senate and succeeded. Now, we need to support them in affirming the rights of all women. Tell the incoming Senate to halt the piecemeal erosion of women’s rights by ratifying CEDAW.


This petition will be delivered to every senator on January 3, the day the 113 Congress will be sworn in. Our goal is to deliver 50,000 signatures demonstrating that voters in the United States do care about women’s civil liberties and human rights. 


Sign the petition to ratify CEDAW Now!


For hard copy versions of the petition to ratify CEDAW, click here


Last week, the 112th Senate voted against ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), in what even conservative commentators are calling “an embarrassment” and “a travesty.” It was embarrassing because 38 senators revealed their ignorance and ideological blindness. It was a travesty because the U.S., once a global leader in recognizing the civil liberties and human rights of the disabled with the 1990 passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), has now become a laggard by refusing to join the international treaty guarantying those same rights to people around the world. The CRPD, inspired by the ADA, has already been adopted by 82 countries, but not by the U.S.


In this same way, the U.S. has now become a laggard in protecting the rights of women by failing to join 185 other countries as a party to CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. But in the U.S., women—unlike the disabled—have no federal legislation to fall back on when ideologues threaten to re-define rape or repeal access to birth control. Remember, the Equal Rights Amendment was never ratified. 


Act now to ensure that your full human rights are respected and protected.

Act now to ensure the rights of your daughters, sisters, mothers and lovers.

Act now to end the War on Women once and for all. 


*CEDAW, the International Treaty guaranteeing women’s equality, civil liberties and human rights, was signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 but has not yet been ratified by the U.S. Senate. Once ratified, it will become federal law.