News Brief
Senate Committee passes CEDAW treaty, Advocacy group pledges continued opposition

Washington, DC - The Senate Foreign Relations committee passed the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on July 30, 2002. The full Senate, which reconvenes in September, is expected to move swiftly to vote on its ratification.

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), a Christian home school advocacy group, has joined with other family and Christian groups (such as Focus on the Family and the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission) in pledging opposition to the U.N. treaty.

“We will do everything in our power to stop the ratifi­cation of this treaty by the full Senate,” said Tom Washburne, director of HSLDA’s National Center for Home Education. “It violates our national sovereignty and will put the United Nations in the heart of family decisions and give it oversight over all forms of education.

The broadly worded CEDAW treaty is open to nu­merous interpretations, addres­sing everything from education to the size of families. It is interpreted by a panel of 23 “experts” at the U.N. These experts have recommended the decriminalization of prostitutes in China; expressed concern that Belarus celebrates Mother’s Day; lectured Armenia on the need to “combat the traditional stereo­type of women in the noble role of mother”; stated that too many Slovenian mothers were staying home to raise their children; and, urged the nation of Andorra to order a review of textbooks used by the Catholic schools concerning sex education.

Additionally, the treaty could be interpreted to protect and encourage abortion, require wo­men to serve in combat, and force churches to ordain women clergy.

Liberals, and especially the media, are encouraging the treaty’s passage, stating that, by not signing it, the United States is somehow opposed to women’s rights.

In response to that argu­ment, Washburne says, “Amer­ica already prohibits discri­m­ination on the basis of sex. CEDAW is simply the radical feminists’ attempt to achieve through the United Nations what they have been unable to achieve through America’s legislatures and courts.”