Opponents have a point when they note that ratifying [CEDAW] has not prevented some countries from being the most egregious violators of women’s rights. When the most powerful country in the world does not support women’s rights, it gives permission for other countries to dismiss their commitment to improving the status of women. With the United States behind it, CEDAW would have even more clout than it does.
– Professor Lisa Baldez, an associate professor of government at Dartmouth College, and author of the forthcoming book “Defying Convention: The United States, the United Nations, and the Treaty on Women’s Rights” to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2014. The quotation above is from Baldez’s recent CNN op-ed, in which she argues, contrary to conservative critics, that CEDAW does reflect American values of equality and women’s rights by raising them to the level of global norms.