What is Cities for CEDAW-Buffalo?

Cities for CEDAW-Buffalo Campaign is a coalition of allies committed to ensuring that the equity and equality principles enshrined in the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) are incorporated into city policy in Buffalo, New York.

We are working toward the adoption of a city ordinance that creates regular reporting and planning processes in city departments and agencies designed to ensure that all city policies benefit women, men, girls, boys and transgender people fairly and equitably.

The United States’ failure to ratify CEDAW means that the treaty’s obligations do not have internationally binding force for the nation. To have legal effect for local communities, therefore, the principles of CEDAW must be incorporated into domestic law in different, more localized ways, through local, state and national-level policies, programs, initiatives, and action plans — like CEDAW ordinances.

To do this, CEDAW (like other human rights treaties) requires governments to:

• Proactively take stock of the level of rights achievement that women and girls face in society vis-à-vis men and boys, including as disaggregated by race, sexual-orientation, disability, and other statuses.

• Strive to understand the causes of unequal outcomes, and work continuously to remedy gaps in access and protection through proactive and affirmative measures.

• Continually monitor progress and set-backs through regular audits of policy and practice within all levels of government and government programing.

• Create annually updated plans of action for actively redressing the gender-based discrimination and inequity that is uncovered.

• Actively involve all members of civil society and all levels of government in the process of identifying problems and working out solutions, including at the design, implementation, and review stages.

CEDAW is important because it provide a framework and methodology for such local incorporation, regardless of its formal ratification status.

Click here to see why Buffalo needs an ordinance.