WASHINGTON, D.C., December 2, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Homeschooling advocates have joined the ranks of those battling to prevent the U.S. Senate from ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), citing the threat against homeschooling that the treaty has sparked in other countries.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) chaired a Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday, Nov. 18, on whether to ratify CEDAW - a move that drew strong public reaction both for and against the measure.  The international treaty was signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, but the Senate refused to ratify it. International treaties require 67 Senate votes for ratification in the U.S.

The Senate has not re-considered the Treaty since that time.

CEDAW’s UN committee, notorious for pushing liberal abortion laws in pro-life countries, has also been known to place pressure against homeschooling families by mandating that educational curricula be regulated to eliminate “gender bias.”

The Home School Legal Defence Association (HSLDA) notes that CEDAW’s Article 10 gives the government the power to “to ensure … the elimination of any stereotyped concept of the roles of men and women at all levels and in all forms of education. ... in particular, by the revision of textbooks and school programmes and the adaptation of teaching methods.” CEDAW’s extreme position against gender differentiation has led the committee in charge of the treaty to urge countries to ban Mother’s Day and decriminalize prostitution.

President Obama has called himself a “strong supporter” of CEDAW.

According to HSLDA’s Will Estrada, calls from homeschoolers across the country have been pouring in to several senators’ offices against ratifying the treaty, an effort that has evidently borne fruit.

“After receiving dozens of phone calls, staff for Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) urgently notified HSLDA that the senator opposed CEDAW. Senator Graham previously had no stated position,” reported Melanie Palazzo, HSLDA Congressional Action Program Director.

However, CEDAW supporters also made their presence known: HSLDA reported a large number of hearing participants wearing pink “Ratify CEDAW” stickers. The line to access the hearing reportedly stretched down several halls in the Senate office building where the event was held.

Read HSLDA’s report of Thursday’s hearing here.