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Additional Research: CEDAW


United States Consideration of a Treaty

Focus on the FamilyThomas Jacobson details the process by which treaties (in particular CEDAW and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)) are ratified. He begins with the origins of both CEDAW and CRC with the Presidential signature and then the review of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He then moves to the actions of the Senate in regards to the ratification. Jacobson details the requirements for the treaty to be brought into discussion and voted upon, as well as two delaying tactics that can be employed by Senators to prevent CEDAW from being brought to a vote.

CEDAW Committee Fails to Discern Good from Bad Stereotypes, and Pressures Nations to Eradicate the Identity of Women as Mothers

Focus on the FamilyThomas Jacobson discusses the CEDAW Committee's review of 32 party nations for compliance in 2007. The Committee rebukes these nations for not abolishing "stereotypes" of women prevalent in the countries as stipulated in Article 5(a) of the Convention. The Committee, he says, seems bent on "eliminating all traditional stereotypes without discerning which ones are beneficial to marriage, family and society…" Jacobson sees this as an improper function of civil government, and believes the Committee should not be out to change attitudes about women and the family and advocates the removal of the Article. Jacobson then lists the critiques of each of the 32 nations by the Committee.

CEDAW Committee Rulings Pressuring 83 Party Nations to Legalize Abortion 1995-2010 

Focus on the FamilyThomas Jacobson compiles the "concluding observations" of the Committees for each of the nations and analyzes their influence. Jacobson details how the CEDAW Committee has misinterpreted Article 12 by using it to pressure nations to legalize or increase action to abortions and abortifacients. He asserts that the members of the Committee have repeatedly violated and exceeded the actual language of the Convention and told nations that they have to make abortion legal in order to be in compliance with the Covenant.


Respecting National Sovereignty and Restoring International Law: The Need to Reform UN Treaty Monitoring Committees

Dr. Krisztina Morvai talks about her experience as a member of the CEDAW Committee from 2002-2006, as well as her evaluation of the actions of the Committee. Morvai first describes her concerns about the Committee's treatment of the "women's rights issues" of abortion, prostitution, sex education, contraceptives for young girls, and the promotion of "free condoms." Morvai denounces in particular the Committees' promotion of women's "right to abortion" as opposed to exploring the ways that women come into such a situation and ways of helping those that are vulnerable. Morvai continues to point out the openness of CEDAW to "creative interpretation", and thus the Committee's ability to "'make law through interpretation." She describes the inconsistency of the Committee's concluding comments, and thus their irrational implementation into law. This, Morvai says, leaves Third World countries vulnerable in that they do not know what laws they are supposed to be following and if they are following them accurately enough in order to receive aid. Morvai's conclusion is that the legally biding nature of CEDAW (and other UN Human Rights Treaties) is problematic, its "pro-choice" rhetoric should be re-evaluated, and the treaties should not be used to pressure countries to introduce systems that are foreign to them and harm women and girls.



A UN Women's Treaty: A case against ratification
Christina Hoff Sommers, American Enterprise Institute

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