Legislative Trends and New Developments
·   Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW”). CEDAW was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. CEDAW requires signatory countries to take “all appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men.” (Art. III). The U.S. signed the treaty in 1980, but is one of only seven countries that have not yet acceded to or ratified CEDAW (others include Iran, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and two small Pacific Island nations: Palau and Tonga).
 
 
·   The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA). IVAWA is a bill first introduced in the U.S. Congress in 2010 that, if adopted, would make eliminating violence against women a part of U.S. foreign policy. Specifically, the bill would provide for funding of women’s rights organizations and programs in other countries. Additionally, IVAWA would establish an Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. State Department and create the position of Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The bill was reintroduced in the 113th Congress in November of 2013 and referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The bill currently has 40 sponsors, but has not been passed to date. 
 
·   Current status of IVAWA adoption: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr3571#overview