Friday, December 18, 2009

30 Years of Refusing Equality

CEDAW turned 30 years old today--and the US still refuses to ratify the UN treaty.

Thank you to Linda Tarr-Whelan and Women's eNews for pointing out this anniversary.

You wouldn't think that approving a Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women would be so hard for the US House and Senate to pass.

Ukraine, Nepal, and Thailand have all passed it and found it useful to reduce sex-trafficking, Tarr-Whelan reports.

Only Sudan, Iran, Somalia, and a few small island nations are holding out, along with the USA.

"This international agreement was Eleanor Roosevelt's dream and is one of the pillars of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," she reports, noting the rush of nations to sign the CEDAW in 1979.

"In those heady days, I was deputy assistant to President Jimmy Carter for women's concerns. We expected speedy action after he sent the treaty to the Senate," she reveals.

We were so hopeful in1979, also still expecting 38 states to approve the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution.

Instead, we continue to live in disillusionment and accommodation.

Here's what Langston Hughes said about a dream deferred:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

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