Retrospective: Arvonne Fraser

Arvonne Fraser died August 7, 2018, at the age of 92. She was a Minnesota Women’s Press Changemaker in 2004. In an essay she wrote for the magazine in 2011, Fraser said: “The next time you think: “Oh, I’m too tired [to vote], I have better things to do,” remember that if you don’t show up to vote, others decide for you.”

Among many other roles, she was co-founder and director of the Center on Women and Public Policy, and former ambassador to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. Her proudest achievement was “putting women’s human rights on an international agenda.”

She started the International Women’s Rights Action Watch, which published “shadow reports” on countries that ratified the women’s rights treaty known as CEDAW — the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. On the fact that the U.S. still had not ratified the CEDAW treaty, Fraser said: “We have to elect different people.”