Our Work


The Denver for CEDAW Campaign- spearheaded by The United Nations Association Denver Chapter and Supported by many local allies.

The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is a set of universal standards for eliminating gender discrimination, adopted by the United Nations in 1979. Often hailed as the international Bill of Rights for women, the aim of CEDAW is to ensure the rights of women and girls around the world. Countries who have adopted CEDAW promise to enshrine these three basic principles into their domestic laws:

  1. Principle of Equality: CEDAW stresses the importance of the equality of opportunity as well as equality of outcome.
  2. Principle of Non-Discrimination: CEDAW emphasizes that discrimination is socially constructed and calls for states to recognize and remedy discriminatory practices.
  3. Principle of State Obligation: CEDAW requires states who have adopted CEDAW to actively eliminate discrimination against women and achieve gender equality.

Today 189 countries have ratified CEDAW. The US is one of six countries – together with Tonga and Palua, Iran, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan – who have not ratified CEDAW. Since President Carter signed CEDAW in 1980 the US Senate has failed to ratify. The United Nations Association holds that American women cannot wait any longer for the Senate to act and established the Cities for CEDAW Campaign in 2013.

The Cities for CEDAW Campaign utilizes the power of cities by promoting the adoption of CEDAW as a municipal ordinance in cities large and small. By becoming a CEDAW city, cities will ensure that women’s equality is protected under city ordinances. The Denver for CEDAW Campaign – spearheaded by the United Nations Association Denver Chapter and supported by many local allies – asks the Mayor of Denver and the Denver City Council to follow the examples of San Francisco, Honolulu, and Miami – to pass a CEDAW Ordinance.

Want to learn more about which cities have passed an ordinance, resolution or are currently pushing for either? Explore the map below or click here.


(Source: Google Maps)

A CEDAW ordinance would require the City of Denver to establish the following elements:

  1. Conduct a gender analysis of city operations (workforce, programs)
  2. Conduct a gender budget analysis of Denver’s annual budget
  3. Commit funding to support the implementation of the principles of CEDAW

By becoming a CEDAW City, Denver will make it loud and clear that it does not tolerate discrimination against women and girls and is committed to creating equality in the legal system, abolishing discriminatory laws, and establishing institutions to ensure women’s equality throughout the city.

To become an ally or to learn more about the campaign, e-mail Malliga Och or Alexis Newton at una@denverforcedaw.co. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, more information, and to show your support.