UCI Law International Justice Clinic Successfully Urges LA County to Support Global Treaty on Gender Equity


For two years, students in the UCI Law International Justice Clinic have advocated for Los Angeles County to implement the United Nations Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Last month, the County Board of Supervisors approved a motion supporting CEDAW and laying the groundwork for a possible CEDAW ordinance.

CEDAW is a core international human rights treaty and the principal legal instrument for ensuring gender rights across the globe. CEDAW seeks to promote gender equity in every area of life — civil, political, economic, social and cultural. CEDAW’s intersectional lens is crucial to understanding and applying these rights, and the treaty recognizes the special needs of women, girls and gender minorities with intersecting identities, including race, age, sexual orientation and disability.

The United States is one of just six countries that have not ratified CEDAW. Because the U.S. has not ratified this essential treaty, the task of securing gender equity aligned with human rights standards has fallen to local jurisdictions throughout the country. Dozens of cities and counties across the U.S. have joined the “Cities for CEDAW” movement, a grassroots effort to implement the tenets of the treaty. These measures have brought about remarkable strides in gender equity and helped promote human rights awareness at the local level.

“The recent motion by LA County — the largest local jurisdiction in the U.S. — is a big win for this movement, for IJC, and especially for the County's 10 million residents,” explained Prof. Mary Hansel. “We look forward to continuing to serve as a resource as the County explores the possibility of a binding CEDAW ordinance.”

IJC students who have worked on this initiative, conducting advocacy through briefing papers and formal presentations to County decision makers, include: Correy Miller (J.D. '20), Kristen Kido (J.D. '20), Isabel Steinmetz (LL.M '20), Alekxa Rollins (J.D. '21), and Dylan Gera (J.D. '21).