Tag Archives: CEDAW

Take a look at Sarasota and Cities for CEDAW!

Here’s a perfect collaboration: one of my favorite schools – New Gate Montessori IB in Sarasota, Florida – and one of my favorite causes – Cities for CEDAW. What a team!

The New Gate students created a PSA about our local CEDAW initiative. They did a brilliant job explaining exactly how this global topic applies directly to Sarasota residents.

Take a look and stay tuned for more on the Cities for CEDAW initiative. And thanks to all these 11th-year students who donated time to help the local Chapter of UN Women-USNC.

United Nations Association – Tampa Bay


We started collaborating with the Tampa Bay Chapter of UNA very early on in our work for CEDAW Sarasota. They were also interested in a Cities for CEDAW movement. The UNA/ Tampa Bay Chapter is large, diverse, well-organized, and well funded. Their approach to an ordinance movement is necessarily very different, but our long-term goals are the same.

See my short article in their most recent newsletter, below or here.

CEDAW Update

CEDAW – What is it and why should I care?
By: Elizabeth Scott Osborne. Esq., Chair – Cities for CEDAW, Gulf Coast Chapter – UN Women/USNC

CEDAW is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. This landmark international treaty, first created in 1979, has helped to advance gender equality throughout the globe. CEDAW’s 30 articles create norms for equal treatment of women and girls in all areas of life; in fact, it is the first UN treaty to fully address the equal rights of all women. Like other UN treaties, enforcement is voluntary and unique to each country.

Though signed by 196 nations, CEDAW has never been ratified by the United States – in fact, we are one of only six nations failing to enact CEDAW. The US Senate has never even voted on CEDAW, despite persistent lobbying in Washington. This failure handicaps us on the international stage and removes the weight of the United States on issues of global equality.

In recent years, activists in the US have begun a Cities for CEDAW movement. Now underway, this campaign helps cities and municipalities in the US enact their own versions of CEDAW, thus bringing equality provisions to widespread and diverse locales in the US. The US Conference of Mayors and over 200 civic organizations nationally have all endorsed this Cities for CEDAW campaign. We are confident that these local laws will help both the individual cities as well as create a grassroots push for CEDAW ratification in the US Senate.

Next month: What is Cities for CEDAW doing right here in Florida?

Cities for CEDAW Sarasota: FAQs

CEDAW Sarasota 

Promoting Women’s Equality in Our Community

CEDAW banner

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?