For Immediate Release
March 3, 2015

Contact: Dionne Johnson Calhoun
(202) 724-8105

Kicking off Women’s History Month, Grosso Introduces Bill to Ensure Gender Equity in D.C.

Washington, D.C. — Today, in honor of Women’s History Month and the International Women’s Day on March 8, Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) introduced the Local Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Amendment Act of 2015. The United Nations General Assembly adopted CEDAW in 1979 and President Carter signed the treaty on behalf of the United States in 1980; however, the United States Senate has not yet ratified CEDAW. In 2014, municipalities across the nation began signing onto the Cities for CEDAW initiative, pledging to implement the principles of CEDAW at the local level in light of the Senate’s failure to act.  The U.S. is one of only eight countries that has not ratified the treaty. Countries that ratify CEDAW are mandated to condemn all forms of discrimination against women and girls and to ensure gender equality in the civil, political, economic, educational,  social and cultural arenas.

“In D.C., we already have some of the strongest human rights protections for women and girls in the country,” said Grosso. “In honor of Women’s History Month, I am introducing this legislation to ensure that all of our government agencies are working proactively for gender equality.”

Under the legislation, D.C. government agencies will be required to conduct gender analysis reporting, including data analysis, to assess gender equity in their operations. The bill also calls for an annual citywide action plan to address any deficiencies identified in the gender analysis reporting. Such analysis and evaluation will help identify and remedy structural gender inequalities in the D.C. government.

Additionally, March 3 is the International Sex Worker Rights Day and CEDAW notes how sex workers are particularly vulnerable to violence and other human rights abuses due to stigma and criminalization. Grosso has previously called for a greater emphasis on protecting the human rights of those involved in commercial sex.

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