Roundup: Obama and CEDAW; Brazilian Women Investigated for Abortion; Women Need an Advocate Like Clinton

Emily Douglas

Will Obama sign CEDAW?; Brazilian women investigated for abortion; "progressive circle" of advisors surrounding Obama; women need an advocate like Clinton in the Senate.

Will Obama Sign

President-Elect Obama has pledged to "restore the United
States’ international standing," which extends, writes
the San Francisco Chronicle
, to passing long-neglected UN treaties, including the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, one
of the three UN treaties Obama says he will concentrate on ratifying.  Would US ratification of CEDAW mark
progress for women worldwide?  Joanna
Pozen offered Rewire an unconventional take — see The High Price of Compromise.

Brazilian Women
Investigated for Abortion

has an examination
of the investigation of 1,200 Brazilian women suspected
of having abortions in a clinic in the
state of Mato Grosso Do Sul.  The BBC
reports, "Human rights and women’s organizations have complained that
the process has been humiliating for those involved, and has included demands
for intimate medical examinations."  Abortion
in Brazil
is illegal except to save a woman’s life or in cases of rape.

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"Progressive Circle" of Advisors
Surrounding Obama

Citing frustration among progressive Democrats over President-Elect Obama’s "Team
of Rivals" and the Clinton-era appointees he has selected, Laura
McGann in the Washington Independent
points to "Obama’s recent White House
appointments include progressive voices in key positions. Their views strongly
coincide with those progressives who are expressing concern about the
president-elect’s Cabinet choices."  McGann continues:

Consider the people Obama has selected to be his advisers on domestic policy
and national politics, as well as his communications director. Other prominent
progressive players, including labor and feminist activists, also will be
members of his future White House staff.

In the past two weeks, Obama has tapped Melody Barnes, of
the progressive think tank Center for American Progress, to serve as his
domestic policy director; Patrick Gaspard, a political organizer for the
Services Employees International Union, or SEIU, as his politics director; Ellen
Moran, of the liberal fund-raising group EMILY’s List, which backs pro-choice
women candidates, to run his communications shop; and Phil Schiliro, a former
aide to Sen. Tom Daschle, to serve as the White House’s liaison with Congress.

Women Need an Advocate Like Clinton in the Senate

Writing of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s appointment to Secretary of State, NARAL Pro-Choice New York president Kelli Conlin says in the Albany Times-Union, "But we need to make sure that our gain is not simultaneously our loss." Listing Clinton’s many accomplishments for women’s rights, Conlin calls for Gov. David Paterson to replace Sen. Clinton with a Senator who will prioritize women’s health and rights.

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