Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

CEDAW: The Women's Treaty

  1. Jun 9, 2006 #1
    I'm starting to regret my political ignorance; that's what I get for leaving my insular liberal arts school. The latest "news" (from 2004:redface: ) to come out of my introductory politics class, is that the Senate did not ratify (as far as I know they didn't even vote on) the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. We have enough petty rants in this forum so here's an issue that deserves our attention.

    According to Human Rights Watch:

    Who would you expect not to ratify this? Was one of the countries the U.S.?

    :mad: :confused: :cry: wtf?!

    Is this due to national social pathology or cutthroat practicality? Do we stand to lose economic gain or what? People often feel uncomfortable around this topic, but it merits acknowledgement at least.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 9, 2006 #2

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It's quite possible, as with many other treaties, that other countries signed simply as political pandering. There have been treaties that have been rejected by the US (think Kyoto) because of their lack of effectiveness or sections being ludicrous. I can just immediately think of the idea that if this treaty demands full legalization of abortion, obviously it wont happen in a strongly moral nation.

    The US has also been known to refuse treaties based on the fact that most of the requirements to the treaty are already met or exceeded by US law.

    http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/text/econvention.htm

    There is the actual text of the treaty that im reading.

    Or of course, the US would have to stop giving women special treatment :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Look at the education part. There are a LOT of educational facilities, scholarships, and positions that are given only to women and i think that wouldnt be allowed in this treaty so it would be a step back for women here. Of course, that is if its truely equality they're looking for.

    You really have to think about what kind of message signing these treaties mean. It's effectively saying to the world that women just aren't treated equally here when in fact, they have many advantages that are even denied to guys.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2006
  4. Jun 9, 2006 #3
    Actually, I was thinking it supported human rights for women everywhere. Even if we don't follow all of its rules, it can still be used to denounce countries that don't sign it. Guess we are one of those though! I also think the stance on abortion and other conservative stances might be behind its rejection (all the Republicans rejected it in its committee). Plus, they might actually have to pay us equal wages if they signed it.:rolleyes:
     
  5. Jun 9, 2006 #4

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Did the senators give a reason for blocking it? It may be a sovereignty thing, but it may also just be that they considered it superfluous. I do agree, though, that ratifying treaties like this gives us more political leverage.
     
  6. Jun 9, 2006 #5

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    :confused: :confused: What country are you from and did you actually read the treaty?
     
  7. Jun 9, 2006 #6

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Unlike Kyoto, this treaty has never been "rejected by the US". Every time it's come up for vote in a senate committee, it gets passed. What's keeping it from getting ratified seems to be hedging tactics by those that don't want it to go through.

    If it came up for vote and got voted down, that's a different thing altogether. That doesn't seem to be the case here.

    You are implying here that that all the rest of the industrialized world is not "highly moral", unlike the US. And you are asserting that the granting of abortion rights is immoral, right?
     
  8. Jun 9, 2006 #7

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well when you think about the actual act you're allowing ... :rolleyes:

    Fair enough, i see them as nearly one in the same however unless its a small group using the system to keep it from passing. If that is the case then i retract the "rejected" part.
     
  9. Jun 9, 2006 #8
    Abortion rights are the crux of the of the issue. Conservative politicians are not about to ratify this and then get beaten over the head by the Christian right.

    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20021010_sunder.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2006
  10. Jun 9, 2006 #9

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I believe the treaty says "reproductive rights" and "family planning". If the first amendment can be construed to mean a case for abortion, then this one sure isn't going to make it through without the pro-abortion electorate taking note.
     
  11. Jun 9, 2006 #10
    That doesn't logically follow. If you were to sign an agreement to read this forum, that would not be an acknowledgement that you don't read this forum by any means. The same holds true for this treaty.
     
  12. Jun 9, 2006 #11

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yah but this treaty isn't saying "The above signers have read this treaty, thats all"...
     
  13. Jun 9, 2006 #12
    There is nothing to justfy your "yah but" in that, my proposed agreement to read this forum isn't saying "The above signers have read this agreement" either.
     
  14. Jun 9, 2006 #13

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    So if you sign something said you have read this forum ... it doesn't mean you've read the forum? Well its a bit harder to get away with such a thing with an international treaty...
     
  15. Jun 9, 2006 #14
    Guys, guys....look up the abortion rights in european countries (many of whom presumably ratified this thing). The abortion rights in the U.S. exceed those throughout most of europe.

    I can dig up a source for that pretty easily if you want (easier to do it Monday, though, as the links in my outgoing archives at work).

    Obviously, if "the US is the inudstrialized country" not to have signed it, most of Europe has, and therefore they either plan to ignore it or abortion isn't the driving issue.
     
  16. Jun 9, 2006 #15
    No I said; if you were to sign an agreement to read this forum, that would not be an acknowledgement that you don't read this forum by any means.

    In the same sense, signing the treaty in question doesn't not "mean women just aren't treated equally here", despite the fact that you attempted to claim otherwise.
     
  17. Jun 9, 2006 #16

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Maybe this is a joke, and I'm not getting it. Equal pay is required by law (since the 60s or 70s?). So, if you're saying that this law is being ignored or subverted in some way, how is signing a Treaty going to help any?
     
  18. Jun 9, 2006 #17

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I can find a few troubling parts:
    In 5(a)...how? It seems like an impossible requirement. How do you change the social and cultural conduct of others? That sounds like it would do more to curb our freedoms than anything else.
    In 5(b)...yikes! That one doesn't sit well at all. Again, it looks like it would be going backward..."proper understanding of maternity as a social function." Just what is a proper understanding of maternity? Some might construe that as suggesting all women should go back to being housewives, barefoot and pregnant.
    In Article 6, well, just take a look at the outrage expressed in the other thread when our administration suggested the same to Germany! But, the federal government couldn't sign that, because it would interfere with states' rights. The federal government doesn't have the authority to make prostitution illegal.

    There goes the women's colleges. And, again, since education is under state and local control, not federal, Congress has no authority to agree to that.

    I haven't looked to see what those rates are, but what if they are less than male drop-out rates, or really just not that bad at all? How do you reduce it if it's already a fairly low rate in the first place? Maybe this is not possible to accomplish.

    So, I think the devil is in the details here. The overall concept might be fine, but when you read in detail, you realize that due to the way the US government works, and the separation of federal and state governments, the federal government simply can't agree to some of these terms without violating Constitutional protections of states' rights.
     
  19. Jun 9, 2006 #18

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I sort of agree with your objection to 5a and definitely to that of 5b, but not to 6.

    It doesn't ask you to make prostitution illegal, only to make its exploitation illegal. This, I believe, is trying to address prostitution under coercion.

    Many of the points there read like they are written to address problems of sexual stigma and gender role stereotypes in socially backward countries. The developed countries just seem to sign on saying, "yeah, we get the drift but there's not much this treaty is going to change." Looks to me like it's more a symbolic thing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2006
  20. Jun 9, 2006 #19

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Maybe...I'm not entirely sure. Again, from that thread about Germany, we can see that some do consider all forms of prostitution to be exploitation. Even if it's intended to mean coercion, it could be interpreted more than just one way. Without statements from those who opposed it, we can't really know why they were blocking the votes on it, but that's another possible reason, that some of the wording introduces enough ambiguity as to have unintended consequences if they agree to it.
     
  21. Jun 9, 2006 #20

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Exploitation by who?

    Edit : Nevermind, I'll go read that thread later (if it doesn't have a 1000 pages already).
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: CEDAW: The Women's Treaty
  1. Women in combat (Replies: 38)

Loading...