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CEDAW Preys On Needy Women
Political Maneuvering is Sheer Opportunism
June 6, 2002

“This new push to get CEDAW ratified is sheer opportunism. Sadly, the legitimate needs of women around the world are being shamelessly used as cover to push a frivolous and morally corrupt agenda.”

Dr. Janice Crouse, Senior Fellow, The Beverly LaHaye Institute

The movement to ratify the treaty known commonly as CEDAW and more formally as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is obviously a political maneuver with political timing. On the surface, what is not to like about a treaty that would supposedly “end discrimination against women.” Who among us wants discrimination against anyone and especially against women in this era of political correctness? As with most important documents, it is necessary to read the fine print. American women don’t need the treaty. It won’t enhance the rights and privileges that we already enjoy. Dr. Crouse said, “The CEDAW treaty is just a red herring that cloaks radical social engineering in so-called women’s concerns in order to draw attention away from its heavy-handed imposition of a radical ideology.”

CEDAW and “Discrimination.” CEDAW contains some very troubling provisions including at the outset the definition of “discrimination.” Discrimination would include “any distinction, exclusion or restriction” based on sex. Such a broad-based interpretation has been used already to decry “sex-role stereotypes” and lament the celebration of Mother’s Day. In addition, the definition of discrimination has been used to advocate legalizing prostitution and to recommend “equal protection” for prostitutes in terms of labor and civil laws. Perhaps more problematic, is the vague phrase, “based on sex” which opens the door to the homosexual agenda. Indeed, Kyrgyzstan received an order to “re-conceptualize” lesbianism so that it would be a “sexual orientation” rather than a sexual offense in that country’s Penal Code.

CEDAW and the Family. Equally troubling is the redefinition of the family. This battle, of course, is taking place in many arenas, but CEDAW is up-front about wanting to “change the traditional role of men as well as the role of women in society and in the family” in order to “achieve full equality between men and women.” To that end, the CEDAW committee has complained to some countries that their men “are not assuming an equal share of family responsibilities.” Other nations have received complaints from the CEDAW committee about their “stereotypical” portrayals of men as heads of households and women as mothers and homemakers.

CEDAW and International Treaties. CEDAW reinforces the Beijing Platform for Action and the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) in several negative respects –such as advocating children’s autonomy from parental decision-making, promoting federally funded day care in order to facilitate “women’s re-entry into the labor market.” CEDAW mandates sex education and gender mainstreaming. One of the most insidious aspects of CEDAW is the demand for quotas and the insistence upon “comparable worth.” Like similar international treaties, CEDAW supports universal abortion-on-demand.

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