Cities for CEDAW

  • Gulf Coast Chapter Membership

  • Sarasota, Florida


UPDATE: Our list of local supporters now includes:

Sarasota World Affairs Council (WAC)

Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota (UU)

NOW - National Organization for Women Sarasota/Manatee

Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Gulf Coast Florida (RPCV)


Visible Men Academy

Center for Religious Tolerance

Women's Interfaith Network

Sarasota County Commission on the Status of Women

Dr. Lonetta Taylor-Gaines

Dr. Sherry Lawrence

Dr. Brook Bello

Dr. Susan Marcus

Dr. Jody L McBride, Professor, USF/Manatee

Dr. Sherry Yu, Assistant Professor, New College

Elizabeth Weil Bergmann, Retired Director of Dance and Lecturer, Harvard University

Joan Libby Hawk, Special Advisor, Women's Empowerment Principles

Dr. Barbara Srur, MD

Over 50 other community members....and growing


Join us - sign on now:

“Yes, I want Sarasota to be gender equitable.

I support the local CEDAW initiative. I urge the Sarasota City Commission to adopt a CEDAW resolution or ordinance now.”

Click HERE to send an email and be added to our list of supporters

What is Cities for CEDAW? 

Cities for CEDAW is a nationwide, grassroots effort to encourage local governments to become more gender equitable. Research shows that inadvertent discrimination is common without a proactive review of city activities. CEDAW ordinances require cities to evaluate their programs and budgets and ensure they affect men and women equitably. It is a process, a fairer way of operating, not a separate program. If there is no discrimination, great! But where it is found, these laws help cities make changes to become more equitable.

But what is CEDAW?  It is the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This is the only international human rights treaty that focuses entirely on ending discrimination against women. It addresses important issues such as:

            ●  Equal pay for women

            ●  Elimination of violence against women

            ●  Support for families and caregivers

CEDAW was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979, more than 35 years ago, yet the UNITED STATES is one of only six countries - out of 196 nations - that still has not ratified this treaty.* In the meantime, the Cities for CEDAW campaign is bringing these rights to our cities.

Why Sarasota?

Sarasota is a progressive city with a basic law prohibiting discrimination already in place. Yet discrimination against women is often hidden and pervasive. For example, according to 2013 US Census reports, in Sarasota County women make up 55% of the population. Yet:

o      Women in law enforcement earn 76% of what their male counterparts earn

o      Women in health care support jobs earn 80% of what their male counterparts earn

o      Women in firefighting and protective services earn only 62% of what their male counterparts earn

o      Women are more likely to live in poverty

o      And, according to the Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC), it is estimated that 1 in 4 women will experience sexual violence during their lives

A CEDAW Resolution confirms a city's commitment to the principles of CEDAW. A CEDAW Ordinance is a tool to help the city identify and reduce discrimination: CEDAW cities are asked to proactively analyze their operations, policies, and programs to identify any discrimination and then work to become more gender equitable. It will benefit all residents of Sarasota, men, women, and children alike. We want Sarasota to join Tampa/St Pete which has already passed a CEDAW resolution, and Miami-Dade, which has passed a full CEDAW ordinance. 

Who is involved in Cities for CEDAW?

Across the USA, different civic organizations take the lead. The initiative is non-partisan and promotes no specific program. Over 200 civic organizations nationwide have endorsed Cities for CEDAW. In Sarasota, the Gulf Coast Chapter of UN Women/USNC is serving as lead organization. 

“Yes, I want Sarasota to be gender equitable.

I support the local CEDAW initiative and I urge the Sarasota City Commission to adopt a CEDAW resolution or ordinance now.”

Click HERE to send an email and join us!

For more information contact Scott Osborne, Chair, Cities for CEDAW Sarasota, at

We are not alone! Cities throughout the USA are working on this program. Seven cities now have ordinances, 18 have passed resolutions, and another 26 are in progress (see list below). The US Conference of Mayors endorsed the principles of CEDAW in June 2014 and many national civic organizations have followed suit.

As the Miami-Dade commission aptly noted: “The purpose of the ordinance is to track the status of women and girls comprehensively that the Commission can make sound public policy based on objective data. By tracking these critical indicators, we will have access to objective, empirical data to better evaluate local public policy, particularly as it relates to pay parity and reducing violence against women. CEDAW will help us better understand the challenges facing women and girls, and bring us one step closer to helping all of our residents thrive and prosper, free of discrimination.” 

Who else is supporting CEDAW?

Nationally, organizations endorsing CEDAW include:

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

American Baptist Women’s Ministries

American Bar Association

American Federation of Teachers

American Jewish Committee

American Library Association

Business and Professional Women/USA


Church Women United

Church World Service

The Episcopal Church, USA

Federation of Women’s Clubs Overseas

Feminist Majority

Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media


Heifer Project International

The Hunger Project

International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women

Jewish Council for Public Affairs

League of Women Voters of the United States


National Association of Commissions for Women

National Council of Churches, USA, Women’s Ministries

National Council of Jewish Women

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Organization for Women (NOW)

Physicians for Human Rights

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Presbyterian Church, USA

Refugees International

Sisters of Mercy

United Church of Christ

United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

United Methodist Women

United Nations Association, USA

US Conference of Mayors (June 2014)

Women for Women International

Women of Reform Judaism

Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church


Zonta International


What are other cities doing?

Cities with a CEDAW ordinance:

San Francisco, CA     Berkeley, CA     Honolulu, HI     Los Angeles, CA     Miami-Dade County, FL

Pittsburgh, PA     Washington, DC

Cities with a CEDAW resolution:

Cincinnati, OH     Daly City, CA     Edina, MN    Eugene, OR     Kansas City, MO 

Lafayette, CO    Long Beach, CA    Louisville, KY     Minneapolis, MN     Mount Vernon, NY

New Orleans, LA       Salt Lake City, UT     Santa Monica, CA     St Paul, MN     St Petersburg, FL     Tampa, FL

University City, MO     West Hollywood, CA

CEDAW resolutions or ordinances in progress:

Ashland, OR     Boston, MA     Boulder, CO    Denver, CO   Durhan, NC     Erie, CO     Fairfax, VA

Greeley, CO     Juneau, AK      Laguna Woods, CA     Longmont, CO     Louisville, CO

Monrovia, CA     New York, NY     Orange County, CA     Palo Alto, CA     Philadelphia, PA     Portland, OR     Radford, VA

Raleigh, NC     Rapid City, SD         Richmond, CA        Santa Clara County, CA       Tacoma, WA     

Westminster, CO     Ypsilanti, MI

(As of January 2017)


For more information or if you would like to help work on the local Cities for CEDAW campaign, contact

Scott Osborne, Chair, Cities for CEDAW Sarasota, at

For general information on Cities for CEDAW, see

For more information about other UN Women/USNC Gulf Coast Florida Chapter activities, 




1 * CEDAW has not been ratified by only six UN member nations.These six non-ratifiers are Iran, Palau, Somalia, Sudan, Tonga and the United States of America.