3:40pm Feminist Activism on Global Issues – Workshop

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

CEDAW – http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/

US has not signed on to CEDAW… ratification requires 2/3 majority of the senators.  Challenges to passing CEDAW:  Jessie Helms put a hold on CEDAW, it can be tabled by any senator. 

Treaties such as CEDAW are in many ways aspirational.  Countries often sign these treaties and there is language that affirms that these issues are worked on gradually… that’s what’s important… people feel that if we haven’t done it now, they shouldn’t sign it or they should make an exceptiton. 

Problems with CEDAW in the US: women in the military, paid maternity leave, US says many of the issues in CEDAW should be left up to the state.


US House Resolution on Maternal Mortality

On a list of countries, the US is 41st on Maternal Mortality – poor maternal health care.  Most dramatically affects women of color.


Child Marriage

Devastating affects around the world… mental and health affects… young brides are more often subjected to violence in the home… much older husbands die and leave young widows who are often abandoned.   US must dedicate funding to support programs on a local level to try to address child marriage.


Human Trafficking Around the World

600k to 800k victims trafficked across the borders each year.  Victims exploited for sex trade and servitude.  Children are considered persons under 18.  Some countries where child victims originate include:Pacific Islands, former Soviet Unions, Southeast Asia…

Victims are often forced into sexual exploitation: mail order brides, military prositution, pornography, prostitution, stripping… etc.  Sex trafficking takes place in massage parlors, spas, strip clubs… 

Patterns of luring victims: promise of good job, sold into trafficking by family, false marriage proposal.  Methods to condition victims: starvation, confinement, threats of violence, forced drug use, shame, rape.

Health Risks:  Drug addication, physical injury, brain injury, stds, HIV, other diseases

Psychological Harm:  shame, grief, fear, distress, suicide, PTSD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, self loathing

US Trafficking Law- Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 –  http://immigration.juris-global.com/tag/tvpra-of-2008


Read This! 

The Shadow Report for CEDAW Prepared by ‘ Saudi Women for Reform’ – Saudi Arabia



The International Violence Against Women Act

Introduced by Joe Biden and Richard Luger – being reintroduced into the Senate and House

– Provide changes to US policy, directs US Gov. to create 5yr strategy to reduce violence in 15 – 20 countries that have the most violence against women.

– Funds for international programs that prevent or reduce violence against women, education for women, training of security forces to deal with violence against women.

– Will make office of global women’s initiative at the State Department

Write your Senators and House Reps to make sure this bill is passed!!!



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