Adopted in 1979, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) bans “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 … of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.” Seven UN member states — Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Nauru, Palau, Tonga, and the United States — have not ratified (accepted a legal obligation to fulfill the document).

According to the agreement, each signatory member’s implementation is reviewed every four years by the CEDAW Committee. Countries in which Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and Coesfeld serve and which will be reviewed this year are Italy and Korea; next year Brazil, Congo, Indonesia, Mexico, and Zimbabwe will be reviewed. We are asking  Sisters in these countries for their input on this human rights issue for women and girls as we prepare to attend preparatory and review sessions to be held in New York this July and August. Learn about CEDAW and its review processes at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/


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