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Women's Rights Update

Despite a razor-thin defeat of the Paycheck Fairness Act on Wednesday, the fight for women’s rights—fair pay and an end to all forms of discrimination against women—wages on.

“As the leader of the largest women’s Zionist organization—but most importantly as a woman myself—I am deeply disappointed that the Paycheck Fairness Act will not become law,” said Hadassah National President Nancy Falchuk. “It is unfortunate that this missed opportunity will deprive countless women and families of the economic security that they need and deserve. Hadassah will remain a vocal advocate for pay equity until it becomes a reality.”

Yesterday afternoon Congress held a hearing for the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) for the first time in eight years. Hadassah was one of a record-breaking 100 organizations who submitted statements of testimony for the Congressional Record. Actor Geena Davis, founder of The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, emphasized during her testimony that protecting the rights of women around the world helps ensure more stable, prosperous and peaceful countries, which is clearly in the interest of the United States.

The U.S. is one of only seven countries—including Iran, Somalia, Sudan and three Pacific Island nations—that has not yet ratified CEDAW. As a landmark international agreement that affirms the fundamental human rights of women and girls around the world, ratification is essential for the United States to remain a world leader on human rights issues. This hearing is a great first step, but now we must urge Senator Kerry, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to hold a vote on the CEDAW Treaty now! If you do not live in Massachusetts, you can contact your own Senators and encourage them to work with Senator Kerry on this important issue.

A suggested letter follows below. The letter can be used to contact your Senators, or as talking points for bulletins, Facebook, Twitter or other social media.


Dear Senator,

This week, for the first time in eight years, the Senate held a hearing focused solely on the importance of U.S. ratification of CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). This hearing is a great first step, but I need you to support CEDAW and urge Senator Kerry to hold a vote on the CEDAW Treaty now.

The United States is one of only seven countries - including Iran, Somalia, Sudan and three Pacific Island nations - that have not ratified CEDAW. As a landmark international agreement that affirms the fundamental human rights of women and girls around the world, ratification is essential for the United States to remain a world leader on human rights issues.

Please support CEDAW, and please contact Senator Kerry and ask him to hold a vote on CEDAW now. Women and girls are waiting.

Sincerely,
YOUR NAME

Date: 11/22/2010 12:00:00 AM

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