Cities for CEDAW

Department on the Status of Women Logo Beijing Plus 20 LogoWomen's Intercultural Network Logo

The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is the only international human rights treaty to focus exclusively on the rights of women. CEDAW has been ratified by 187 of 193 UN member states worldwide. Although it was signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the United States Senate has failed to ratify CEDAW. In 1998, San Francisco became the first city in the world to adopt an ordinance reflecting the principles of CEDAW. In 2013, the Department launched the Cities for CEDAW campaign in partnership with the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NGO CSW/NY) and the Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN). In 2015, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights joined the campaign to help build capacity and provide educational resources to inform and mobilize individuals to take action in their local areas.

The purpose of the Cities for CEDAW campaign is to "make the global local" by harnessing the power of cities and promoting the adoption of CEDAW as a municipal ordinance to create a framework for improving the status of women and girls. The campaign is a grassroots effort that provides tools and leadership to empower local women's, civil, and human rights organizations and municipalities to effectively implement CEDAW within their city, county, town, or state. The Cities for CEDAW campaign focuses on the adoption of a CEDAW measure in your community that fulfills three requirements – a gender analysis of city operations (workforce, programs, budget), an oversight body, and funding to support the implementation of the principles of CEDAW. The goal is for 100 cities to adopt a CEDAW measure in the U.S.



Former San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee sponsored a resolution adopted at the June 2014 US Conference of Mayors to urge fellow mayors across the country to take action to become a CEDAW City!

Mayor Edwin M. Lee

Advocates: Start the Movement in Your City!

Krishanti Dharmaraj at UN CSW 58

“In essence, this can be done by any one of us. CEDAW in San Francisco is not unique."
– Krishanti Dhamaraj, iAngel


Contact Us

Email: dosw@sfgov.orgPhone: 415.252.2570

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