Women For the Repeal of HB2: Causing International Embarrassment for North Carolina

On Wednesday, TurnOUT! NC, a coalition of HRC, Equality North Carolina, the ACLU and the Campaign for Southern Equality, continued our three-city press tour across the Tar Heel State featuring the voices and perspectives of women in North Carolina against the discriminatory HB2. Starting in Raleigh on Monday, and continuing in Greenville on Wednesday and on to Charlotte on Thursday, “Women for the Repeal of HB2” has been featuring a diverse range of women’s voices, experiences and concerns calling for full repeal of this discriminatory law.

In Greenville, advocates were joined by Beth Dehghan, the Founder and President of WomenNC and a member of the NC Coalition for the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. The coalition works to promote municipal and county-level adoption of CEDAW, which is an international treaty that outlines women’s fundamental human rights. Although President Jimmy Carter signed the treaty in 1980, the United States is one of 7 countries that has not ratified this women’s rights treaty.

“HB2 has raised national and international concern over the most basic human rights situation in North Carolina,” Dehghan said. “According to Article11 of CEDAW, state parties must ‘take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment  in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights…’ These rights extend to employment opportunities, safe working conditions, as well as equal compensation for the same work.”

“In the United States, cities and counties have been implementing the principles of CEDAW to enhance the economic status of women nationally and internationally by recognizing the existing problems and supporting the women in related projects such as employment education and elimination of violence against women,” Dehghan said. “Meanwhile, here in North Carolina, HB2 overturns all the privileges and eliminates all existing local authority to enact minimum wage standards for public sectors in their community and takes away the power from city ordinance leaders.”

TurnOut! NC and other organizations and businesses working to repeal HB2 have the unwavering support of Women NC and NC Coalition for Cities for CEDAW, Dehghan said.

Dehghan’s remarks come a week after a statement by the European Union (EU) that blasted anti-LGBT laws in North Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi criticizing “The recently adopted laws including in the states of Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee, which discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in the United States contravene the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the US is a State party, and which states that the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection.” Additionally, last month the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office warned its LGBT citizens of the risks of traveling to North Carolina and Mississippi, because of anti-LGBT laws like HB2.

This is why TurnOUT! NC is working to mobilize the voices of women, both transgender and allied, to speak out for the full repeal of HB2. TurnOUT! NC has field organizers based in Asheville, Charlotte and the Triangle area. Additionally, HRC staff is on the ground working with coalition partners across the Tar Heel State. There are daily opportunities to volunteer with weekly phonebanks and weekend canvassing opportunities.

If you live in North Carolina and want to join the efforts to repeal HB2, RSVP for upcoming phonebanks and volunteer opportunities. For more information about our work in North Carolina, contact HRC Associate Regional Field Director Ryan Rowe at Ryan.rowe@hrc.org.

HRC staff

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