Salon Premium has an article today about a last minute blockade of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which includes outrageous mandates things like a ban on forced marriage and full legal and property rights for women. The treaty has already been signed by 169 countries, and awaits ratification by countries like Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, and the United States. Apparently right wingers oppose the treaty for some reason that I don’t comprehend, so John Ashcroft (perhaps at the behest of the White House), is blocking the treaty by requesting postponements so that the Justice Department can “review” it (despite the fact that the treaty was originally submitted to the Senate in 1980).
The closest the article comes to explaining why anybody opposes the treaty is these paragraphs:
Of course, the Christian right doesn’t see it that way. “We are the most powerful nation in the world, we are the most democratic nation in the world,” says Janice Crouse, another Bush delegate to the U.N. Children’s Summit and a senior fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute, a Washington group that works on Christian women’s issues. “We are good neighbors. We are a country that is not self-centered in the way we help others, and I don’t think we owe an apology to other countries when we say [the treaty] is not in our best interest and we don’t believe it’s in your best interest.”
The answers to the problems faced by women in the developing world are in the Bible, Crouse says. And while the Bible doesn’t apply to life in Muslim societies, she says, “it could.” She calls the treaty an agent of a “frivolous and morally corrupt agenda,” saying it would “legalize prostitution and open the door for the homosexual agenda.” She says it even attacks Mother’s Day.