The United States is rightly gaining a reputation as the greatest obstacle to radically leftist United Nations’ initiatives. From the Kyoto protocol to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CFR), American resistance is an enormous hindrance to these measures and reduces their credibility. In this way, the United States honors its position as world superpower.
Although this reputation has been reaffirmed by the repeated failure of the Senate to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), recent events have brought it once again to the forefront.
Like the resolutions cited above, it promotes a radically leftist agenda and must be stopped.
Attack against National Sovereignty
Adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in December of 1979, then-President Jimmy Carter signed it in 1980. Although the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed it in 1994, it has never been ratified by a full Senate vote.
This could change. The State Department has just changed its classification to a “Category 3” treaty making it low priority, but acceptable and ready for ratification. Were this to occur, as a treaty, it would become “the supreme law of the land,” 1 according to the U.S. Constitution.
Worse yet, Part V of the treaty 2 stipulates the formation of a 23-member committee to muster compliance. These 23 members are elected from a pool of nominees. Each country that ratifies the treaty has the right to one nominee. Thus ratifying CEDAW would place America’s supreme law in the hands of 23 unknown people, most likely foreigners.
The treaty’s vague definitions and provisions leave a lot of room for this committee’s interpretation. For example, in Part I, Article I, discrimination is defined as:
…any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on the basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. 3
This definition is so broad that it could be interpreted even to outlaw the Church’s position against women priests.
Attack Against the Family
This same CEDAW committee has repeatedly attacked the traditional conception of the family. It has often discouraged full-time motherhood and in Belarus it went so far as to discourage the celebration of Mother’s Day, which it decried for “encouraging women’s traditional roles.”
In China, it expressed concern that prostitution is still illegal, and disapproved of Germany for not extending “the protection of labor and social law” to prostitutes. 4
In Ireland, the committee complained that the “influence of the Church is still strongly felt” since abortion remains illegal there. 5 Italy also fell under attack because in many places Catholic influence remains deep-rooted, making abortion difficult to procure. Accordingly, Catholic hospitals should be forced to perform abortions, regardless of the moral objections of the Church or medical personnel. 6
The CEDAW committee also promotes homosexuality. In Kyrgyzstan, it ordered that, “lesbianism be reconceptualized as a sexual orientation and that penalties for its practice be abolished.” 7
Attack Against Children
Even in raising children, CEDAW wants a say. Slovenia was criticized because only 30 percent of the nation’s children under three years of age were in daycare and the German government was urged to “improve the availability of care-places for school-aged children to facilitate women’s reentry into the labor market.” 8
More pernicious yet, CEDAW states clearly, in Article 10c, its intention to reeducate the world’s youth to destroy what it calls the “stereotyped concept of the roles of men and women.” 9 This has led the CEDAW committee to promote mandated sex education, hinder single-gender schools and, in Romania, call for the revision of its teaching materials, textbooks and school curricula even at the primary level. 10
An Initiative that Must Be Stopped
After years of pigeonholing, this initiative is an issue once again. At any moment, Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-S. Dak.) could call it to a full Senate vote. Some fear he will do so before the congressional elections this November.
Mindful that this may be their last chance, liberals in the Senate are pushing it ahead full steam. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) finds it “insulting that such a simple, straightforward bill of rights for women would languish in the greatest democracy in the world.”
As patriotic Americans, now is the time to act. One hundred sixty-seven nations have already signed the treaty, American endorsement is the only remaining impediment.
Take Action Now
We must take a stand. We must reaffirm our national sovereignty, proclaim the traditional and only true concept of the family and protect our nation’s children from liberal indoctrination.
More importantly, as a nation, rejecting CEDAW will confirm our role as the world’s greatest obstacle to leftist U.N. initiatives, honor our role as world superpower and grant God’s blessing on our nation.
- 1. U.S. Constitution, Article VI, Clause 2. This can be accessed at http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Constitution.html.
- The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Part V, http://www.feminist.org/research/cedaw.html
- Ibid. Part I, Article I.
- Fagan, Patrick and Schaefer, Brett, “U.N. Treaty Target’s Motherhood,” May 13, 2002, http://www.heritage.org/search?contains=commentary.
- MacLeod, Laurel and Catherine Hurlburt, “Exposing CEDAW,” September 5, 2000, http://www.cwfa.org/library/nation/2000-09_pp_cedaw.shtml.
- McElroy, Wendy, “The United Nations Moves Beyond Peace to Take on Family Values and Gender Issues,” May 1, 2001, http://www.foxnews.com/.
- MacLeod, Laurel, op. cit.
- The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Article 10 C, http://www.feminist.org/research/cedaw.html.
- MacLeod, Laurel, op. cit.