Byline: Wendy Wright , SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
This November, for the first time, the United States will be subject to a review of our human rights record by the notorious United Nations Human Rights Council. Undoubtedly, the United States will be chastised for not ratifying a U.N. treaty on women's rights. Because President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton support the treaty, this may be another stop on their apologize for America tour.
But the State Department has every reason to defend our position confidently.
We'll be scolded that most countries have ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Yes, the United States can respond, and that includes nations with the worst records of abuse, yet it has not improved women's standing or conditions in those countries. But if adopted, it would deny women basic freedoms and rights in America.
CEDAW is contrary to America's constitutional system: CEDAW's sweeping language to abolish any distinction .. made on the basis of sex covers laws, culture, political systems, schooling, family life, personal relationships and professional choices Its all-encompassing scope contradicts the U.S. Constitution's limits on government and respect for states to handle matters such as family law. Every aspect of our lives would be fodder for review by a U.N. committee of gender experts.
The United States provides women legal protection: The Constitution already covers women. The ruling in Buckley v. Valeo states, The term 'person' in the Fourteenth Amendment has never been limited to men, and fully protects women against denials of 'equal protection.'"
If discrimination occurs, women have recourse to state and federal courts, commissions and a culture of shame. Even the president of the United States is accountable and can be sued for sexually harassing women. Women flee to the U.S. when they face horrific discrimination. Recently, the United States extended asylum to a woman who fled her husband's brutal abuse in Guatemala.
CEDAW would deny American women's freedom and views: Women in the United States are free to decide their profession, education and political representation or to run for office. Women are free to negotiate their roles as wives, mothers and caregivers. Yet CEDAW would infringe on these freedoms if the United States were subject to the irrational views of the gender experts on the CEDAW Committee, which has oversight of countries that adopt the treaty.