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ExcerptUnsex CEDAW, or What's Wrong with "Women's Rights" 20 Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 1 (2011).The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women ("CEDAW") has as its prin-cipal goals the protection and promotion of women's rights and the elimination of discrimination against women. Although challenges have hobbled implementation of CEDAW, it remains the central pillar of gender equality norms at the international level. It cannot succeed, however, in creating gender equality if it continues to focus so narrowly and exclusively on women. As Lady Macbeth gathers the strength to achieve her evil ends, she implores the spirits to "unsex me here." She believes that her feminine gender obstructs the ability to commit evil. Only by "unsexing" herself will she be empowered to kill King Duncan. Viewing "unsexing" as part of Lady Macbeth's evil reinforces the objectionable set of ideas I seek to criticize. Although Lady MacBeth's "unsexing" is normatively op-posite of what I seek here, CEDAW must also be "unsexed" to realize its potency.CEDAW's focus on "women" enshrines the male/female binary in the core of international law' when CEDAW's goals would be better served by seeking the elimination of the categories themselves. Strikingly, legal scholars have not directly targeted the centrality of the term "women" in CEDAW. Any discussion of CEDAW must address the foundational book by Hilary Charlesworth and Christine Chinkin, The Boundaries of International Law. In that book, they take on women as their clients, with their singular goal the representation of women both as bystanders to interstate activity and as outsiders to rights protections. This article does not cut against their understanding of the import of "improving women's lives." The disagreement is with the reason behind this inequity. Women face subjugation by the power relationship that establishes men as superior but more significantly from the division of humanity into two groups, one of which necessarily sits on top. Focusing only on "improving women's lives" serves to reinforce the very binary that must be dismantled to achieve change. This does not mean that women's lives do not merit improving-my problem is with the central and exclusive framing of the issue in this light. "Women's lives" cannot be improved until being a "woman" or a "man," or for that matter one of the many other sexes that exist, means less in terms of social, legal, and political standing. This article aims to force those of us who take sex and gender and even women's rights seriously to see the treaty for what it is: a sometimes useful tool of international law whose emphasis on "women" reinforces the sex binary. In concluding that CEDAW should be more inclusive, this article does not intend to exclude the need for remedies that focus on the inequality that women face based on their identity; rather, it argues that the principal treaty on sex discrimination should not solely focus on this group.Perspectives Fall 2011 9

Horace Anderson Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of LawWe Can Work it Out: Co-Op Compulsory Licensing as the Way Forward in Improving Access to Anti-Retroviral Drugs, 16 B.U. J. Sci. & Tech. L. 167 (2010). Noa Ben-Asher Assistant Professor of LawObligatory Health, Yale Hum. Rights & Dev. J. (forthcoming 2011).Elizabeth Burleson Associate Professor of LawEmerging Human Rights & Environmental Law in the Arctic, 30 Law & Ineq. _ (2011) (Co-author).Energy Revolution and Disaster Response in the Face of Climate Change, 22 Vill. Envtl. L.J. 169 (2011).Climate Change Consensus: Emerging International Law, 34 Wm & Mary Envtl. L. and Policy Rev. 543 (2010).China in Context: Energy, Water, and Climate Cooperation, 36 William Mitchell L. Rev. 3 (2010).International Human Rights Law and Co-Parent Adoption, 55 Loyola L. Rev. 791 (2010).Energy Policy, Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer to Address Climate Change, 18 Univ. of Iowa Coll. of Law Transnat'l L. & Contemp. Probs. 69 (2009).David Cassuto Professor of Law and Director, Brazil-American Institute for Law and Environment (BAILE) Visiting Professor (and Fulbright Scholar) at FGV Direito Rio. Visiting Professor of Environmental Law at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) in Salvador, Brazil.Keeping It Legal: Transboundary Management Challenges Facing Brazil and the Guarani (w/Rômulo S.R. Sampaio), Water International (special issue on transboundary aquifers) (forthcoming 2011).The Basics of NEPA and Its Role in Combating Climate Change, in 30 Years of NEPA in Brazil (working title) (with Joseph Edgar) (Getulio Vargas Foundation Press) (forthcoming 2011).Water Law in the U.S. and Brazil - Climate Change & Two Approaches to Emerging Water Poverty, 35 Wm. & Mary Envtl. L. & Pol'y Rev. 371 (Winter 2011) (with Rômulo S.R. Sampaio).Owning What You Eat: The Interweaving of Environment, Agriculture & Law, in Democracy, Ecological Integrity and International Law (Laura Westra ed.)(Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010).Recent Scholarship10 Pace Law School