The 49-page “Gender Shadow Report” details women’s status and treatment in a variety of areas:in the criminal justice system, under increasingly harsh immigration and asylum laws and from inadequate anti-violence laws, among others. Documented as well are the disadvantages that millions of working women experience because of poorly enforced anti-discrimination employment laws, the lack of unemployment insurance and health care coverage, the perpetuation of a highly inadequate minimum wage that keeps millions of families below poverty-level income, and the serious lack of family supports that are common to other developed nations. These are just some of the many U.S. violations of the sex equality provisions of the ICCPR.
As the Human Rights Committee has previously expressed an interest in a closer examination of U.S. treatment of women in prison, the report contains an extensive discussion of the shackling of women in childbirth, the potential for loss of parental rights and the denial of access to abortion. The restriction of access to abortion for women in prison violates seven different articles of the ICCPR as well as Amendments Eight and Fourteen of the U.S. Constitution.
The report also notes the U.S. violation of Article 3 of the ICCPR in its practice of funding and promoting biased and non-scientific abstinence-only sex education, currently supported in public schools by hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.
In late May, NOW Foundation completed its contribution (PDF) to the “Gender Shadow Report” describing expansive, entrenched and systemic sex-based employment discrimination in this country. It concludes that laws and policies in the U.S. in both the private and public sectors make the U.S. workplace as “one of the least supportive employment environments for women of any developed nation.” With alarm, NOW Foundation emphasized that political leaders are currently reducing funds and dismantling programs adopted over the past 40 years that have promoted equality for women.