83. The experts greatly appreciate the invitation by the US government to this visit which opened the door to an open and frank exchange regarding both good practices and gaps in US women’s enjoyment of their human rights.
84. The experts are of the opinion that, in a global context, US women do not take their due place as citizens of the world’s leading economy, which has one of the highest rates of per capita income. In the US, women are left behind in terms of international standards as regards their public and political representation, their economic and social rights and their health and safety protections.
85. The experts welcome the genuine support expressed by the current administration forthe cause of women's equality and its undertaking to ratify CEDAW. However, the experts regret the failure to implement these aims. As many stakeholders have underscored, the extreme polarisation of politics has profoundly affected the ability of the Government to ratify CEDAW and to introduce measures to guarantee women’s human rights.
86. At the domestic level, ratification of CEDAW is essential in order to provide all US women with the rights and protections guaranteed under the Convention. There is amyth that women already enjoy all these rights and protections under US law. However, there are missing rights and protections to which US women would be entitled under CEDAW, such as universal paid maternity leave, accessible reproductive health care and equal opportunity in standing for political election.
87. The United States, which is a leading state in formulating international human rights standards,is allowing its women to lag behind these standards. While all women are the victims of these missing rights, women who are poor, belong to Native American, African-American, Hispanic and Asian ethnic minorities, migrant women, LBTI women, women with disabilities and older women are in a situation of heightened vulnerability.
88. Addressing these challenges is limited by a range of factors. Such obstacles include lack of political will to pass essential legislation, women’s limited representation in leadership positions in Congress and in business, a strong Conservative religious lobby which opposes reproductive rights, gun lobbies which oppose gun control and discriminatory gender norms perpetuating a culture that allows discrimination against women to flourish. Women’s underrepresentation and negative representation in the media also present major challenges and reinforce existing gender biases.