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Eagle Forum Capitol Alert
Aug. 21, 2002

CEDAW Updates may be found in our Quick Topics Section under CEDAW.

Contact your Senators during the August recess
Enter your zip code, then select "info" to find district offices for your Senators.
CEDAW Overrules National Laws
On August 5, 2002, the Committee of 23 "experts" converged on the United Nations headquarters in New York for the Exceptional Session of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The first country up for review was Mexico. The "experts" had plenty of recommendations, including changes to the Mexican legal system.

Say Goodbye to the Constitution, Federalism, and Sovereignty

Patricia Espinosa Torres, President of the National Institute for Mexican Women, told the CEDAW committee, "Mexico compelled judges to use the Convention even if it contradicted national law . . . but judges had been reluctant to use the Convention's provisions. There had been cases, however, where the hierarchy of international treaties had come in second place after the Constitution."

Hanna Beate Schopp-Schilling, the "expert" from Germany said, "On the issue of federalism, she said it was deplorable that there seemed to be such a range of variations in both the legal situation for women across the 32 states, as well as in their de facto living situations. What legal means did the Government have under its constitution to unify states' laws with national and international legislation? Referring specifically to the differences in abortion law and educational standards, among others, she said federalism was no excuse for such far-reaching and negative implications for women."

Savitri Goonesekere, the "expert" from Sri Lanka, expressed concern about the progress of legislative reform. But she added that because so much progress depends on the Mexican judiciary "hopefully . . . the Government would address the need for gender-sensitivity training for lawyers."

To read to entire report, go to: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2002/wom1352.doc.htm

Through August 23, the CEDAW Committee will review compliance reports from 10 other countries. Stay tuned for more information about CEDAW's infringement on sovereignty.

Despite the radical changes to the U.S. legal system that would occur by ratifying CEDAW, the American Bar Association is pushing for Senate approval.

EAGLES TAKE ACTION: Make sure your Senators know about the legal dangers of CEDAW. Tell them to oppose ratification of this treaty.

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