Cities for CEDAW

What is Cities for CEDAW?

Cities for CEDAW is a nationwide, grassroots effort to encourage local governments to become more gender equitable. Research shows that inadvertent discrimination is common without a proactive review of city activities. CEDAW ordinances require cities to evaluate their programs and budgets and ensure they affect men and women equitably. It is a process, a fairer way of operating, not a separate program. If there is no discrimination, great! But where it is found, these laws help cities make changes to become more equitable.
But what is CEDAW?  It is the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This is the only international human rights treaty that focuses entirely on ending discrimination against women. It addresses important issues such as:
            ●  Equal pay for women
            ●  Elimination of violence against women
            ●  Support for families and caregivers
CEDAW was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979, more than 35 years ago, yet the UNITED STATES is one of only six countries - out of 196 nations - that still has not ratified this treaty.* In the meantime, the Cities for CEDAW campaign is bringing these rights to our cities.
For general information on Cities for CEDAW, see

Who is involved in Cities for CEDAW?

Across the USA, different civic organizations take the lead. The initiative is non-partisan and promotes no specific program. Over 200 civic organizations nationwide have endorsed Cities for CEDAW. 
We are not alone! Cities throughout the USA are working on this program. Seven cities now have ordinances, 18 have passed resolutions, and another 26 are in progress (see list below). The US Conference of Mayors endorsed the principles of CEDAW in June 2014 and many national civic organizations have followed suit.
As the Miami-Dade commission aptly noted: “The purpose of the ordinance is to track the status of women and girls comprehensively that the Commission can make sound public policy based on objective data. By tracking these critical indicators, we will have access to objective, empirical data to better evaluate local public policy, particularly as it relates to pay parity and reducing violence against women. CEDAW will help us better understand the challenges facing women and girls, and bring us one step closer to helping all of our residents thrive and prosper, free of discrimination.” 

Who else is supporting CEDAW?

Nationally, organizations endorsing CEDAW include:

  • American Association of University Women (AAUW)
  • American Baptist Women’s Ministries
  • American Bar Association
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Jewish Committee
  • American Library Association
  • Business and Professional Women/USA
  • Church Women United
  • Church World Service
  • The Episcopal Church, USA
  • Federation of Women’s Clubs Overseas
  • Feminist Majority
  • Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media
  • Hadassah
  • Heifer Project International
  • The Hunger Project
  • International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women
  • Jewish Council for Public Affairs
  • League of Women Voters of the United States
  • National Association of Commissions for Women
  • National Council of Churches, USA, Women’s Ministries
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Network to End Domestic Violence
  • National Organization for Women (NOW)
  • Physicians for Human Rights
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Presbyterian Church, USA
  • Refugees International
  • Sisters of Mercy
  • United Church of Christ
  • United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
  • United Methodist Women
  • United Nations Association, USA
  • US Conference of Mayors (June 2014)
  • Women for Women International
  • Women of Reform Judaism
  • Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • YWCA
  • Zonta International