The aim of the Cities for CEDAW (The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) campaign is to “Make the Global Local”.

Facilitate Adoption of CEDAW at Local, State and Federal Level

What is CEDAW-Jan 2016


The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women or CEDAW, adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often described as an international bill of rights for women. Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, it defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination. The Convention defines discrimination against women as "any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil, or any other field. The Convention is the only human rights treaty, which affirms the reproductive rights of women and targets culture and tradition as influential forces shaping gender roles and family relations. It affirms women's rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality and the nationality of their children. States Parties also agree to take appropriate measures against all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of women.

As of 2017, only seven countries have refused to ratify CEDAW: the United StatesIran, SudanSomaliaNauruPalau and Tonga.  Read more at the UN Website: 

Text of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women


  • Right to good quality education (articles 10 to 14)
  • Right to comprehensive health services, including on family planning (articles 11,12 and 14)
  • Right to access loans and other forms of financial credits (articles 13 and 14)
  • Right to join leisure, sports and cultural activities (articles 10, 13 and 14)
  • Right to decide on the number of children and on the number of years between pregnancies (article 16)
  • Right to shared parenting responsibilities (articles 5 to 16)
  • Right to have equal access to jobs, benefits and social security (articles 11 and 14)
  • Right to be paid equally based on the work they do (article 11)
  • Right to be free from all forms of violence whether physical, sexual, emotional, mental or economic (General Recommendations 12 and 19)
  • Right to be free from all forms of slavery and prostitution (article 6)
  • Right to vote, run for election and hold public office (article 7)
  • Right to represent the country internationally (article 8)
  • Right to acquire, change or retain nationality and citizenship (article 9)


A national campaign with peer leaders Women Intercultural Network and the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women (SFDOSW) culminating in strong public commitments to enforceable CEDAW ordinances in 100 US cities supported by a Resolution   at the US Mayor’s Conference in San Francisco, June, 2015. See the attached Cities for CEDAW Concept Note  .


The US signed CEDAW in 1979, but the US Senate has not ratified it despite on-going advocacy in favor of ratification from diverse civil society organizations working at the national level. Los Angeles has since adopted a similar ordinance to San Francisco. Mayors of both San Francisco and Los Angeles believe that the CEDAW ordinances have materially improved the lives of women in their municipalities and fostered more transparent and accountable governance.

By engaging 98 additional U.S. cities in implementing CEDAW, this campaign hopes to increase awareness of, strong support for CEDAW implementation and demonstrate its usefulness as a tool for achieving gender equity: in political participation and representation, in income and earnings, in access to healthcare throughout the life cycle and in public and personal safety. This mobilization of civic engagement for Mayoral action in 2015 should create conditions under which the U.S. senate will ratify CEDAW.


Iranian Circle of Women Intercultural Network (ICWIN), with the perseverance of Nazanin Amani initiated the process of passing a resolution on CEDAW in City of Long Beach.   On March 1, 2016, Council Woman Suzie Price presented a resolution to the City of Long Beach on March 8, 2016 and the City Council members passed it with nine in favor vote.   Long Beach, California is one of the 42 cities that have adopted this resolution.  City of Long Beach is collaborating with California State University of Long Beach for a gender study, which will provide the basis to ratify this resolution into the law in the city of Long Beach.


We invite you to become peer leaders in your city or village. If you are an NGO, connect with a governmental organization or with an NGO if you are governmental. This partnership is critical for success.

Sign up to get involved in the campaign by clicking here.

Here are some of the resources in our Tool Kit:

Cities for CEDAW Fact Sheet

CEDAW Ordnance Template for your city.

Nuts and Bolts: City Action Plan to implement CEDAW” (pdf)

How to Organize a City Coalition with Marilyn Fowler, WIN President and CEO
Part 1: UNCSW 58
Part 2: UNCSW 58

CEDAW Resolution for US Mayors to sign (pdf).

“Making Rights Real” workbook (pdf).

For more mayors and videos about Cities for CEDAW, see Cities for CEDAW YouTube Channel.

For more about WIN, see our WebsiteFacebook, and weblog.

For more about our co leader, San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, They are working with the mayors and governmental entities. For more about that phase of the campaign, see the Cities for CEDAW Facebook. link

Get involved!