On March 15, Washington DC pass an ordinance making the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) city law. The US capital thus joined the Cities for CEDAW campaign. How did this happen? In 1998, San Francisco became the first city in the world to make CEDAW a legally binding ordinance, making the global local, and setting a shining example of bottom-up implementation. That campaign was led by its architect, Krishanti Dhamaraj, former director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University. Then, in 2014, when I was chair of the NGO CSW/NY (and representative for the IAW), we launched a campaign called “Cities for CEDAW” during the Beijing +20 campaign. Young members of the IAW joined me in the campaign then, as now, including Jessica Pierson, IAW Regional Coordinator for North America and Dr. Uzma Gul, Convenor of the Commission on Health.
Since then, more than 70 US cities, counties, and states, have ordinances or resolutions on CEDAW. If the United States government will not ratify CEDAW, cities across the USA will. Why are we focused on women’s rights in cities? Today, more than 60 % of women and girls live in cities—and by 2030, the UN says this will rise to nearly 75%. Cities also contribute more than 65% of greenhouse gases into the air, contributing to climate change. However, cities can also innovate and measure the impact of policies faster than national governments. As former mayor Garcetti of Los Angeles has said, cities are engines of innovation.
To learn more about this campaign, see the YouTube recording of the event the I held during CSW67, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rogbRjLDWSs
Join us and help bring the global to local!
IAW Representative at UN New York
Commons Photo Credit: Source