Advocacy Continues

Recently, the Collective of Philanthropic Advocates for Women’s Rights (Collective PAWR) launched in partnership with Every Woman Treaty to further gender equality worldwide.

I’m thrilled to share that our first advocacy effort brought the group — which included Every Woman Treaty CEO Lisa Shannon, board member Anna Lind-Guzik and coalition members Akefa Raza and myself — to the White House to meet with members of the Biden Administration on US support for a new Optional Protocol to CEDAW.

The first step ideally would be the ratification of CEDAW by the United States. But even if the US doesn’t take this step, the current administration can back the effort and lend its support.

We met with the President’s Gender Policy Council and with staff at the State Department. In the room was Joy-Dee Davis, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda, one of the countries leading the State-initiative for the new optional protocol.

Akefa, a Pakistani/Canadian activist, shared a story of witnessing the murder of a woman in Pakistan and how this horror is intensified by the fact that the Asian region is not protected by a binding international law specific to violence against women and girls.

US representatives asked numerous technical questions and the conversations ended on a very positive note.

The meetings coincided with an op-ed in Newsweek and with the delivery of a letter to President Biden — with the State Department, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Gender Policy Council, the Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, the Ambassador to the United Nations and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States in copy — calling on him to champion this law.

The White House is aware that we are waiting for their response. I will, of course, keep you posted.

Always on your side,



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