Promoting Women’s Equality in Our Community
What is CEDAW?
CEDAW is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. It is an international convention establishing principles of women’s equality. The Cities for CEDAW program works to implement these same principles in cities across the USA.
Who is behind Cities for CEDAW here in Sarasota?
More than 200 civic and religious organizations have endorsed CEDAW nationwide. In each city, one or more non-partisan civic groups take the lead in advocating for its local adoption. In Sarasota, the Gulf Coast Chapter of UN Women/USNC is the lead organization.
What does this mean for Sarasota?
We want the Sarasota City Commission to pass a CEDAW ordinance.
What’s in a CEDAW ordinance?
CEDAW resolutions and ordinance vary by community. They are always tailored to the individual city. But all CEDAW ordinances require cities to do three things:
- Conduct a Gender Analysis – this collects data on city programs and services by gender, something not often done by local governments
- Create an Action Plan – this looks at the data and identifies changes needed to remedy discrimination
- Select an Implementing Organization – this identifies a city panel or coalition to monitor progress
Don’t we already have a non-discrimination ordinance? If so, how is this different?
In 2003, Sarasota passed a non-discrimination ordinance. That was a great start. But the difference is that a CEDAW ordinance is active and preventative. It is not a separate, new program. It changes existing city programs to ensure we avoid inadvertent discrimination. Research shows that without a deliberate consideration of gender dynamics, government agencies are more likely to overlook the needs of women and girls when shaping policies and funding services.
Won’t this ordinance be expensive?
Municipalities should estimate between $.10 and $.25 per woman resident. In some cities, coalitions of government officials, the private sector, and non-profit organizations have pooled resources to make this work.
What will the ordinance look like?
Using model ordinances from other cities, we will work with the City Commission and tailor one to fit Sarasota.
How can I find out more?