Terms You Should Know About Women's Rights

Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

Landmark international agreement that affirms principles of fundamental human rights and equality for women around the world. This international treaty offers countries a practical blueprint to achieve progress for women and girls by calling on each ratifying country to overcome barriers of discrimination.

Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

A proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and, in 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time. In 1972, it passed both houses of Congress, but failed to gain ratification before its June 30, 1982 deadline.


The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.


To injure, disfigure, or make imperfect by removing or irreparably damaging parts; to deprive (a person or animal) of a limb or other essential part

National Organization of Women (NOW)

The largest feminist organization in the United States, with a membership of over 500,000 members.


A form of assault where one individual forces another to have sexual intercourse against that person’s will.

Sexual Assault

Anyone who forces sexual activity on you can be charged with the offense of sexual assault. It does not matter whether the person is a stranger or someone you know, such as a date, friend, relative, spouse or partner. Sexual assault is a crime.


The right to vote, esp. in a political election


To trade or deal in a specific commodity or service, often of an illegal nature (usually fol. by in) – In this case, the trafficking of sex (often underage and female)

Wage Discrimination

When the price of equivalent labor is discriminated among different groups of workers.