Seeking to incorporate the concerns of women “into the mainstream of American foreign policy,” Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Wednesday she will press for the United States to join a 17-year-old United Nations treaty barring abuses against women.
“I will state explicitly that it is long past time for Americans to become party to the ‘Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women,”’ Albright said Wednesday at a State Department celebration of International Women’s Day.
Albright will begin her mission in hostile territory. She is traveling to Charlotte, N.C., on March 25 to speak at the Jesse Helms Institute at Wingate University. The invitation was extended by Helms, R-N.C., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Albright said she will state her views on the women’s treaty regardless of Helms’ stand on the issue “because I said that I would tell it like it is.”
President Clinton has urged the Senate to ratify the treaty, which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in December 1979 and signed by President Carter in 1980.
Among other things, the treaty requires that women have equal rights to work, equal pay, equal benefits and safe working conditions. It prohibits discrimination against women in political activities and requires a minimum age for marriage.