Durham, First Human and Women’s Rights City in North Carolina

From: NC Coalition For CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women)
Melissa Peters,
www.womennc.org, melissa.peters@womennc.org
Gailya Paliga, www.northcarolinanow.org, president@raleighnow.org

Durham, First Human and Women’s Rights City in North Carolina

Raleigh, NC, 8/5/18 – The Durham City Council passed a resolution endorsing the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) unanimously on August 6, 2018 in their general meeting. ”Passage of this resolution reflects a strong commitment to improving women’s human rights in Durham,” said Beth Dehghan, President of WomenNC.

WHAT:  Press Conference celebrating announcement of passage of the CEDAW resolution in Durham
WHEN: Monday, Aug 6, at 6:00pm
WHERE:Durham City Hall, 101 City Hall Plaza, Durham, NC 27701
WHO: Durham City Council members, Durham County Women’s Commission members, NC Coalition For CEDAW

What is CEDAW?

The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, or CEDAW, is an international mechanism that outlines women’s fundamental human rights. The Counties and Cities for CEDAW campaign is a US national grassroots effort to provide tools and leadership to empower local women’s organizations and interested groups to effectively protect women’s human rights within their city, county, or state. 

Why CEDAW in Durham? 

In Durham, 59.7% of single-mother households fall below the poverty level, and 84% of these single-mother households are headed by women of color. At least 13% of teenagers have experienced sexual assault. Of renters in Durham, nearly 50% report being cost-overburdened, with women of color bearing the greatest burden. Women are significantly more likely to be single parents, and these single mothers are four times more likely to rent than single fathers.

Overall, Durham continues to face gender inequity issues related to a lack of affordable housing, rates of unemployment, intimate partner violence, wage inequalities, healthcare and more. “While the City of Durham is one of the most progressive cities in North Carolina, it has the potential to make larger strides for women and girls.“ said Gailya Paliga, President of NC NOW (National Organization for Women). For additional statistics on Durham see: https://datausa.io/profile/geo/durham-county-nc/ and http://www.womennc.org/

For the past years, research conducted by university students and led by WomenNC and the NC Coalition for CEDAW member organizations focused on women’s health, economic disparities, gentrification and housing issues, violence against women, employment, education, and leadership in Durham County. These research reports emphasized the lives of African-American and immigrant women. Examination of these research reports by the Durham Mayor’s Council for Women led to the development and presentation of recommendations on policy changes and allocation of the budget for women-related programs. 

Since 1998, several counties and cities across the nation have adopted such an ordinance or resolution reflecting CEDAW principles. They include: Pittsburgh; Louisville; Cincinnati; Kansas City; Miami, Tampa, Salt Lake City, Sarasota, New Orleans, Dale City, Eugene, Los Angeles, Berkeley, and San Francisco. These cities and counties have used the CEDAW human rights framework to guide policy making, developing a number of innovative programs and tools to advance women’s human rights. With passage of the CEDAW Resolution on August 6, 2018, the City of Durham became the first city in North Carolina, joining Durham County and other CEDAW communities across the nation.

Members of the coalition will continue working with other communities in North Carolina on CEDAW. This coalition welcomes multiple stakeholders including elected officials, commissions, the media, business, youth, NGOs, faith communities and women leaders. The coalition includes AAUW-NC, ActionNC, Durham County Women’s Commission, Durham Crisis Response Center, Durham NOW, Durham Mayor’s Council for Women, NC League of Women Voters, NC NOW, NC Women United, the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice, UN Association of Wake County, UN Women – NC Chapter, and WomenNC.



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