Repeal discriminatory laws

Over 60 years ago, countries adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” That fundamental right has echoed for decades in conferences, treaties, and declarations. Almost 17 years ago, in the Platform for Action adopted in Beijing, 189 governments agreed that laws that discriminate against women undermine equality and pledged to “revoke any remaining laws that discriminate on the basis of sex.” Yet inequality, even in its most overt form, has not been vanquished.

While discrimination against women persists around the world in many forms, laws that explicitly discriminate against women demonstrate State backing of discrimination and symbolize the clear disrespect of governments for the fundamental right of women to equality and official endorsement of women as being of lesser worth than men.

In 2010, Equality Now updated its report (the Beijing +15 report) on discriminatory laws around the world, which was originally published in 1999 (the Beijing +5 report) and updated in 2004 (the Beijing +10 report).  The Beijing +15 report highlighted a sampling of sex discriminatory laws that remained in force in 36 countries around the world at the time of publication.

This petition calls on the governments of the following countries to repeal or amend the laws still highlighted in the Beijing +15 report as well as other currently applicable sex-discriminatory laws: Afghanistan, Algeria, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Bolivia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Yemen.


Good laws that put women on an equal footing with men, are necessary to protect and promote women's rights and facilitate their full social, economic and political participation. Legal equality gives women a level playing field from which to build their capabilities and realize their hopes and dreams, positively affecting development of society in general.

We call on your government to repeal or amend, as a matter of urgency, the sex discriminatory law highlighted in Equality Now's attached report, Words and Deeds: Holding Governments Accountable in the Beijing +15 Review Process, as well as any other currently applicable law that discriminates against women and girls. We urge you to live up to your commitment made in the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action to “revoke any remaining laws that discriminate on the basis of sex.”
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  • 1-25 of 1711 signatures
    Number Date Name Location Add a personal comment to ...
    1711 Sun Mar 09 21:41:27 EDT 2014 CHARLES FREEMAN COLORADO SPRINGS, CO , US
    1710 Sat Mar 08 20:01:07 EST 2014 Judith Jordan Kamloops, BC , CA
    1709 Sat Mar 01 00:50:30 EST 2014 HEIDI STUBER LAKESIDE, CA , US
    1708 Wed Jan 29 22:35:17 EST 2014 Adela Brent Q, AU Women have rights and they must be respected. Governments and States have the responsibility to protect women and girls from violence. Enough is enough.
    1707 Mon Sep 09 12:27:37 EDT 2013 Samyaka Verma Winnipeg, MB , Canada
    1706 Sat Aug 03 00:44:40 EDT 2013 Laura Miller Darwen, ot , GB
    1705 Fri Aug 02 14:11:04 EDT 2013 Brock Dilling Pittsburgh, PA , United States
    1704 Mon Jun 24 14:37:54 EDT 2013 Kendra Maslowski Chehalis, Select a state , US
    1703 Thu Apr 11 18:33:28 EDT 2013 Char Fortney Clarkston, WA , United States
    1702 Thu Apr 11 00:11:21 EDT 2013 Tory McCrea Austin, TX , United States
    1701 Tue Mar 19 13:19:26 EDT 2013 Marlene Hester New Orleans, Select a state , US
    1700 Sun Feb 24 09:55:58 EST 2013 French Guevarra Bergenfield, NJ , US
    1699 Tue Feb 19 12:30:20 EST 2013 Sheena Visti Garfield, NJ , US
    1698 Fri Feb 08 23:20:12 EST 2013 Carlye Hooten Kamuela, HI , United States
    1697 Thu Jan 10 17:50:54 EST 2013 Kyla Hodges Stamford, CT , United States
    1696 Sat Jan 05 23:29:03 EST 2013 Dixie L. Howe Challenge, CA , US
    1695 Thu Dec 27 10:36:17 EST 2012 Gia D'Amico Virginia Beach, VA , US
    1694 Tue Dec 18 16:09:32 EST 2012 Anonymous London, United Kingdom
    1693 Wed Dec 12 09:52:14 EST 2012 Jennifer Goode Austin, TX , US
    1692 Tue Dec 04 20:23:20 EST 2012 Anje Scarfe ADELAIDE, SA , AUSTRALIA
    1691 Fri Nov 30 17:12:56 EST 2012 Chelsea Bennett VIC , AUSTRALIA
    1690 Sat Nov 24 17:09:54 EST 2012 Maegan Gaw Sudbury, MA , United States
    1689 Wed Nov 14 04:52:01 EST 2012 Danielle Bauer Molalla, OR ,
    1688 Mon Oct 08 16:08:42 EDT 2012 Bev Blundell Pemberton, BC , CA
    1687 Sun Oct 07 22:53:22 EDT 2012 Patricia McGann-Zionts Mount Pleasant, MI , US
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