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I'd like to respond to Cheryl Mee's editorial supporting ratification of the Treaty for the Rights of Women ("Advocating for Women Worldwide," Editor's Note, October 2004). The United Nations adopted this treaty in 1979 as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, or CEDAW.
I've found that when something seems like a no-brainer, there's usually more to the story. Upon further research, I found that couched within the CEDAW is a radically feminist agenda promoting "reproductive choice," a technical term for abortion and contraception, in countries where it's illegal. This is a fact they deny on their Web site, but their actions show otherwise. I believe this position actually hurts women, especially young girls, by making it easier for more powerful males in these societies to wash their hands of any responsibility toward women and their offspring.
Lack of educational and employment opportunities and cruel practices such as genital mutilation, sexual slavery, and domestic violence need to be addressed-the sooner the better. But be wary of groups using highly emotional rhetoric who might have hidden agendas. Be savvy: Check out the list of supporting organizations on the CEDAW Web site (http://www.womenstreaty.org) and also check out others opposing this group, such as the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (http://www.c-fam.org).
-PATRICIA MAGALDI, RN, BSN
Many of us are thankful that we live in a country that so far has proceeded with caution concerning the CEDAW treaty. A plethora of educated women (and men) as well as many religious and professional organizations have serious reservations about this treaty.
Your comments were the tip of the iceberg on the subject. I hope nurses realize that they need to explore the positions this treaty espouses before jumping on the CEDAW bandwagon.
-SANDRA STUERMER, RN
Lookout Mountain, Ga.
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