Human Rights, Gender Equality, International Law Four takeaways from the ‘The Struggle for Women’s Human Rights’

March 4, 2022
By Kristina García | Penn Today

In a kickoff event marking Women’s History Month, Rangita de Silva de Alwis, associate dean of international affairs of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, joined moderator LaShawn R. Jefferson, executive director of Perry World House, for a discussion on “Global Justice: The Struggle for Women’s Human Rights.”

The hybrid event focused on the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, CEDAW is considered an international bill of rights for women. Here are four things de Silva de Alwis and Jefferson shared about the convention.

1. The United States is just one of five countries that has yet to ratify the CEDAW

The United States was one of the first to sign the convention, adopted in 1979, during the administration of former president Jimmy Carter, said de Silva de Alwis, but there has been little movement since then. The other countries include Iran, Palau, Somalia, and Tonga. Last spring, Sudan became the latest country to ratify the CEDAW—with notable exceptions.

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