The UNA-NCA Board voted on February 10th, 2015 to form an ad hoc committee for the purpose of supporting citywide legislation, which embraces the principles of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. (CEDAW). On March 3rd 2015, Councilmember David Grosso introduced the legislation. Unfortunately, there was not a hearing and a vote before the 2015/2016 legislative session ended. We are working to have it introduced again and will continue educating and advocating for a hearing before the DC Council Judiciary Committee and a vote this session.
Several organizations have joined UNA-NCA as Supporting Organizations and UNA-NCA is continuing to recruit additional partners to encourage the DC Council to support the legislation and help bring gender equality to the Nation’s Capital. If you are a member of an organization that would like to support this effort, please email
Thank You to all the organizations who have already signed up to support the legislation:
· The Federal City Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
· League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
· Mothers Outreach Network
· National Advocacy Center Of The Sisters Of The Good Shepherd
· National Women's Law Center
· The Baha'is of Washington, D.C
· Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC
· US National Committee for UN Women
· Women's Information Network
· Women Enabled International
· The Zonta Club of Washington D.C.
We would also like to thank the DC Council members who sponsored the legislation in 2015. DC Council Chairman Mendelson, Councilmember David Grosso, Councilmember Charles Allen, Councilmember Vincent Orange, Councilmember Mary Cheh, Councilmember AnitaBonds, CouncilmemberMcDuffie, Councilmember Yvette Alexander, Councilmember Elissa Silverman, Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, and Councilmember Jack Evans.
WHY CEDAW IN DC?
The United Nations approved CEDAW in 1979 and it was signed by President Carter in 1980, but it has not yet been ratified by the US Senate. By supporting a Human Rights bill we can help implement a citywide action plan to ensure equality for women and girls in the economic, political, social and cultural arenas.
In 2014, municipalities across the nation began signing onto the Cities for CEDAW initiative, pledging to step up where the federal government has failed and to implement the principles of CEDAW at the local level. DC has the potential to join the ranks of cities that have passed binding legislation, cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami Dade County if the bill is passed. Many other communities have passed resolutions supporting the concept of gender equality.
The key provisions in the bill introduced in 2015 and potentially to be introduced in 2017 are:
· District Government agencies will be required to conduct gender analysis reporting according to the guidelines developed by the Office of Human Rights (OHR)
· The gender analysis will include the collection of disaggregated data and an evaluation of gender equity in the District Government agencies operations
· Each agency will designate a management or executive level employee to serve as a liaison to the OHR to coordinate the completion of the gender analysis
· OHR will develop timelines for completion of the gender analysis
· Annually, OHR will develop a citywide action plan to address any deficiencies identified in the gender analysis reporting
· OHR will present the annual action plan to the Mayor and monitor the implementation of the citywide action plan
· OHR will make available to all District Government agencies training in human rights with a gender perspective
While we continue to urge the U.S. Senate to ratify CEDAW, we believe it is important to build support locally and begin to implement its provisions by passing CEDAW ordinances in as many cities as possible and securing the endorsement of mayors for this approach. This effort will help to raise awareness of women’s issues covered by CEDAW as well as build a constituency of the public and local elected officials. If you are a member of an organization that would like to support this effort, please email