International Women’s Day 2010 – Ending Discrimination Against Women

On March 8th, thousands of events in countries all over the world will mark International Women’s Day and call for full equality for women in every nation.  International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time at a 1909 conference in Copenhagen, Denmark – its creation largely inspired by the courageous actions of women who worked in deplorable conditions in garment factories in New York.

Today’s  “Democracy Now!” news report details the irony that although women from the U.S. helped to shape what we know as International Women’s Day, the day passes unnoticed in many parts of this country.  The United States also remains among the seven UN countries, including Iran, Somalia and Sudan, that have not ratified the Treaty for the Rights of Women, officially known as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

CEDAW was passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979 and has since been ratified by 186 countries around the world.  The Unitarian Universalist Association supports CEDAW as “essential to a claim by the U.S. of moral leadership in human rights,” and asserts that its ratification would “deter discrimination against women and advance their political and economic equality.”  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Barbara Boxer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have all voiced their support for US ratification of CEDAW, but Congress and the Obama Administration have made no moves yet to ratify this important treaty.

Celebrate International Women’s Day by learning more about this issue from the advocacy group Citizens for Global Solutions and taking action to support CEDAW.