Theses Master's

Vernacularization of CEDAW in the United States: Localization Process and Sustainability of CEDAW Instruments to Prevent and Combat Violence against Women

Chouinard, Michelle

Since 1998, six cities in the United States have adopted legally binding CEDAW ordinances and more than twenty other localities have adopted non-binding resolutions in support of CEDAW. Human rights advocates in the United States are increasingly turning to local implementation of international human rights to specifically remedy the absence of adequate federal policies to comprehensively combat and prevent violence against women. This research identifies the process of translating and adopting CEDAW at the local level in the United States to combat and prevent violence against women, as well as the sustainability and viability of these instruments. To ensure proper translation, adopting international human rights law at the local level requires laborious and time-consuming trainings and education, which are not executed consistently in many of these local contexts. Additionally, lacking forms of local institutionalization, important actors in the vernacularization of CEDAW are unstable at the local level, exacerbated by vertical hierarchies that characterize CEDAW advocacy. Finally, a review of implementation attempts by local governments suggests that, as they exist today, CEDAW ordinances are not sustainable; current methods and measures operate under the assumption that the adoption of an ordinance and the establishment of an oversight body are enough to ensure effective and monitored implementation. However, through modified approaches to adopting and implementing local CEDAW ordinances, human rights have the potential to be realized in a concrete manner.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Winkler, Inga T.
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
June 26, 2018