Monday, April 04, 2005

Applause for Anna Quindlen

In honor of Women's History Month in March, Quindlen wrote about the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) signed by President Carter in 1980 and never ratified.
Like other international treaties, CEDAW amounts to a bill of rights, rights that may too often be honored in the breach, not so very different from "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." We may not need those rights in exactly the same way as women facing honor killings or genital mutilation. But, as we are so quick to note on other fronts, when the United States stands up for a principle it sends a message to the world about how that principle ought to be valued. Yet while America signs off on trade treaties and refugee treaties, it refuses to join the world community in standing up for the rights of women. Today some nations in Africa and Asia far outstrip us in female political representation. Even Iraq, under our tutelage, has written into its Constitution a guarantee that 25 percent of its legislators will be women. By my count, that means someone owes me 11 senators.
Sing it.

No comments: