“Why Women Are a Foreign Policy Issue” @mverveer #hwhtw

April 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm 2 comments

U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer has penned a brilliant and compelling piece on women for Foreign Policy.  A must-read!

Why Women Are a Foreign Policy Issue

The most pressing global problems simply won’t be solved without the participation of women. Seriously, guys.

On a trip to Afghanistan in the summer of 2009, not long after my appointment as the U.S. State Department’s ambassador at large for global women’s issues, I stopped for dinner with a group of Afghan women activists in Kabul. One woman opened our conversation with a plea: “Please don’t see us as victims, but look to us as the leaders we are.”

Those words have stuck with me as President Barack Obama’s administration has endeavored to put women at the heart of its foreign policy. For generations, the United States too often viewed the world’s women as victims of poverty and illiteracy, of violence and seemingly unbreakable cultural traditions — essentially, as beneficiaries of aid. Women’s issues existed on the margins, segregated from the more “strategic” issues of war, peace, and economic stability. Now, in a time of transformative change — from the rise of new economic powers to a growing chorus of voices against repressive regimes in the Arab world — promoting the status of women is not just a moral imperative but a strategic one; it’s essential to economic prosperity and to global peace and security. It is, in other words, a strategy for a smarter foreign policy.

Read the full article: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/23/why_women_are_a_foreign_policy_issue

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. John Parce  |  May 9, 2012 at 8:26 am

    More so then an illustration of the wisdom to support women in policy issues, this issue underscores the imperative for the US to support democratic initiatives wherever and for whomever regardless of gender, nationality, etc. Afterall, if the home of the huddled masses won’t stand up and be counted, then who will.

    Reply
    • 2. hwhtw  |  May 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Thanks for sharing that thought, John! I agree with you that human rights begins at home.

      Reply

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