About Us

Our Mission 

Ensure the successful implementation of the Pittsburgh CEDAW Ordinance 2016-0905 which seeks to improve the lives of all women and girls in Pittsburgh by reducing and eliminating violence against women and girls, improving access to economic development opportunities, and access to quality education opportunities. We recognize that discrimination in these areas also affects the health and well-being of women and girls and will seek ways to improve or complement the work that is already being done at the Allegheny County Department of Human Services and Pittsburgh Public Safety Department.

Goals: 

  1. Assist in the identification of strong candidates for the positions of Gender Equity Commission Executive director and Commission Members.
  2. Shape the selection criteria used to choose the Commission executive director and members.
  3. Assist in defining the content and methods of the Gender Analysis.
  4. Solidify and deepen the support of the City Council members and Mayor for the CEDAW ordinance, the Gender Analysis, and the eventual actions to be taken as a result of the Commission’s work and to implement the CEDAW Ordinance. Potentially assist in defining the materials to engage City Departments?
  5. Build public awareness of and support for the work of the Gender Equity Commission, including continuing to gather input and guidance from diverse community members.
  6. Build support for the funding of the Gender Analysis.

CEDAW is an international agreement that affirms the principles of fundamental human rights and equality for women around the world and to ensure equality for women and girls in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural arenas.

To date, 187 out of 193 United Nations member states have ratified CEDAW.  The United States is one of only six countries — along with Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Palau and Tonga — that have not ratified CEDAW.

The Cities for CEDAW campaign “Makes the Global Local” by implementing the Convention in cities and towns across the United States. Four cities and Miami/Dade County have already passed ordinances, thirty other cities are in-process. We believe that the time is right for Pittsburgh to participate.

(*) Pittsburgh for CEDAW is a project of the Thomas Merton Center

Steering Committee

Marcia Bandes:  WILPF, Chair Pittsburgh for CEDAW

Edith Bell:  Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Christine Castro:  New Voices Pittsburgh

Lee Fogarty:  Zonta Club of Pittsburgh

Sara Goodkind:  Pittsburgh Human Rights Alliance

Judy Hale Reed:  Citizen

Chaz Kellem:  YWCA

Judy Ruszkowski:  Women’s Law Project

Abby Yochum: Pitt Law Student and Graduate Social Work Student