Frequently Asked Questions about Cities for CEDAW

What is CEDAW? – CEDAW stands for Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. It is the only international treaty that focuses on women’s rights. CEDAW was adopted by many countries in 1979 and ratified by 188 nations.

Why do we need Cities for CEDAW? – The US signed CEDAW in 1979. For a treaty to be enacted, all national laws must be brought into concurrence. Since the United States has a federal system of government, it is not possible for the Federal Government to regularize every city ordinance in the entire country. The laws affected by CEDAW are vested in local cities and states.

How does this campaign relate to me? CEDAW provides an overarching framework to achieve gender equality. Gender equality not only enhances the lives of women and girls, but also enriches the lives of their families and the communities they live in, which inevitably elevates society as a whole.

Where has it been implemented and what difference has it made for other cities? 

In 1998, San Francisco became the first city in the world to adopt an ordinance reflecting the principles of CEDAW. Among San Francisco’s successes eliminated domestic violence homicides for a record of 44 months between 2010-2013. Read more here.

A few years later, Los Angeles followed, making measurable differences in public safety, budgetary allocations and employment.

How can I become involved in the campaign? Please email your inquiries to


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