tv Women and Foreign Policy Part 2 CSPAN January 5, 2016 10:29pm-11:40pm EST
challenges, and present endeavors. so i really want to lead off with our three panelists with some of the questions that valerie posed when she brought us together. she wanted our panel to look at the question, when we're considering a state foreign policy that would really take seriously the cause of women and girls, what should that policy look like? what would look different? what would our priorities be? who would our allies be or not be? what would our red lines look like? and how to -- how do we following onto michelle's presentation, how do we do that balancing act of the separate entities to get us from point a to b versus the ultimate goal of integration of womens issues in
all sectors of activity and the mantra for mainstreaming. how do we close the implementation gaps. how do we close that gap between rhetoric and action? robin, would you lead off? >> i'll be glad to. can y'all hear? well, i'll do the thing. howdy. my god, it works. i'm going to set my own little timer here, because i've got an awful lot to cover. so i may go pretty rapidly. when we get to the q&a, anything that you want to return to, i'll be glad to elaborate on. i want to start by thanking the inspirers of this conference, the wonderful valley hudson and patricia for this book and the other extraordinary work they've done. "sex and world peace" is a
ground breaking book. their scholarship has made honest women of the women's movement after years of our saying the same thing anecdotally, now they've proven we were always right. thank you very much. these are extremely distinguished academics and policymakers. i am simply a humble country writer and activist and/or beganist -- not an organist, organiz organizer. one of my aims is to get us away from fashionable ways of dealing with quote, gender and remind us there's a real world of real suffering out there and it has to do with women. because the w word gets lost a lot these g lot these days in the g word. we have to develop a gender
lens. i would submit that we have to do the reseverse. we need to strip that off so that we don't just see half of the world that happens to have penises. yes. okay. the seriousness of what's at stake and the enormity of what we're really talking about here. just a few stats to add onto what valerie went through this world. quick around the world in 80 seconds. 90% of the refugee populations in the world are women and children and the displaced populations. two-thirds of all illiterates are women, and while the general ill literacy rate is falling, the female rate is rising. across the pacific for example when french atomic testing was happening there.
rural to urban migration takes its first toll on women who are either left behind or who try to follow men into the cities where they find they're considered less ployble and where their opportunities actually have to do with factory work at less than $1 u.s. a day or have to do with being domestic servants or working in prostitution. the standard model of radiation tolerance in the scientific community is that of a male of 150 to 160 pounds in his late 30s or early 40s. this happens to leave out female people and most of the men in asia. pale males are the standard of what's human and we're dying because of it. all of us including even peale males. all issues are women's issues. let's never again use the phrase
women's issues. women suffer first and worst from every world problem and we are the last and least considered. so we're here to talk about women and foreign policy, which really translates into women and power. we don't often like to put those words together as if ooh, power, a male thing. it's understandable why some women have fled from power because the guys haven't used it arguably very well. that's no reason it can't be redefined. we're talking about power to, not power over. i'm going to suggest five specific and general things that i hope will be taken up as themes maybe by other panelists later today just to put them out there. some are specific, some are more general. they are not in order of precedence. anything, they overlap and interse intersect. first, listen to women. last night at the dinner,
wonderful journalist mentioned -- touched on this. but every organizer knows that that's step one. we are here at this conference because as early as the early 1970s, the women's movement was dealing with the question of what about women in foreign policy. indeed ms magazine in the early 1970s did a special issue and convened a round table on women and foreign policy. so this has always been a trickle up. it was not something that people in the state department or in policy circles woke up one morning, fell on a platitude with an enormous discovery. we have been pounding our fists on the doors of power, this wae alone, and it's not the second wave, it's more like the 10,000th for 50 years and not
listened to. we are here thanks to the bush school for politics. yet we pounded our fists on the door of both those administrations for decades about afghanistan and gender apartheid there but nobody did anything or was interested in doing anything until 9/11. that's when we went into afghanistan and claimed it was also for the women. so listen to the women. this effects foreign aid. when there was the major famine in the -- the state department went in with aid as did other aid agencies and replaced the dead cattle with a head of cattle to each family. but they gave it to quote head of household which they assumed were men. now, the men were heads of household, but traditionally cattle care was the women's job. the women knew how to do it.
and they were so offended that the cattle were given formally to the men who didn't know how to care for the cattle. the men didn't know how to do it. the women refused to do it. and all the cattle died. number two, connect the dots. this shouldn't be hard and yet you'd be amazed. i have been in screaming matches with senators over whether population and overpopulation was relevant to women's reproductive rights. honest to god. and yet we know that in any area where women are educated and given real reproductive choice organically and naturally population rates fall. connect the dots. the single most effective boost to the economy would be equal pay for women. connect the dots. hillary clinton, when she was sec state arranged for hundreds of thousands, it may have been
in the millions of smokeless stoves to go to women in the global south because there are such high rates of em fa zoo ma and lung cancer. interestingly enough, it's also an environmental issue because smokeless -- because smoke stoves burn and produce black carbon. black carbon is a major pollutant. unlike other pollutants, when it gets in the atmosphere, it lasts for a short time unless you're producing more of it. so the less black carbon in the atmosphere, the more it actually disappears. connect the dots. make the connections. and hammer them over and over and over. because the guys can tend to forget. three, the economic aspect. women don't basically around the world exist in capitalism or any other system other than feudalism. because women's unpaid labor is
a global shocking shame. if a woman is in labor, let's say she's in labor in the best circumstances, she's in a hospital. there's a midwife, there's a doctor, on stbstetrician. their work is considered productive because they exist in the formal wage market. the woman in labor is not considered productive. she's not producing anything you understand. so since we're based on a market economy, most women don't exist in that sense. we're not considered to have any value. i would recommend the book "if women counted" because among other things she exposes where this system came to b. it's based on the united nations system of national accounts. the u.n. sna itself was created by john cains and served richard stone, both of them british, one
american one british, who co-authored a paper entitled the national income and how to pay ft. wars. that is the system on which the united nations system of national accounts is based. the first thing that you can do and everybody can do this is to pressure your government in this case, the united states, but every national government to factor women and women's work in all that unpaid labor, gardening, housework, child producing -- we produce the labor force. factor that into the census forms because the gdp shifts by 40 to 60%. it's vast. that's something everybody can do. where are we up to? we're up to four. and i'm -- and i'm closing. never underestimate the value of individual audacity in moving systemic change. these are systemic problems that
we're facing. but individual acts of audacity are not only fun and outrageous, but they make enormous differences. for example, my beloved friend, just until about a year ago, the high commissioner for human rights. back when she was president of the rewanda tribunals. if rape and war is a crime against humanity, what is it in peacetime. that was a huge act of audacity and it now exists. the kind of academic audacity that valerie and patricia show in producing the kind of studies that they do or that has been done in unmasking who the climate change deniers really are. power audacity in office or in policy circles like that of
margo. gender force being a perfect example, founded by a swede that is currently deployed in both afghanistan and congo to protect. it is taking the concept of r2p, responsibility to protect, which has been batting around for ten years in u.n. circles and nobody doing anything about it. it is an actual force deployed to protect women in crisis situations. the force is male and female combined. and fifth, we have to sever the toxic between violence and eroticism and the combination being defined as what is manhood. i spent an entire book on this and that is the hardest thing in front of us at all. basically, i don't think we can ask is it possible to make these
changes. the point is that it is not only necessary, it's imperative. this is the missing link. women are the politics of the 21st century, and not only for the fairness in terms of women, but for the salvation of the planet. i came in just about a minute over. thank you. >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you. [ applause ] thank you for those powerful comments. anne-marie, we now turn to you. >> thank you so much. thank you to the bush school. congratulations to patricia and valerie for their book and thank you to valerie for your leadership in this area. and also thank you to all of you for the interest and commitment you've shown to this issue. i'm going to speak about the imperative of the u.s. taking a very strong unambiguous leadership role globally on women's rights and i'm going to talk about the emergence of a new cold war on women's rights and increasingly coordinated
global backlash that has to be countered. in the process i will answer your questions about what are some priorities for foreign policy, feminist foreign policy. because i am sure to run out of time, i will start at the end with my list of key elements for a feminist foreign policy and come back to the list. my list starts with yours, your first point, listen to women. the u.s. has got to exercise a politics of recognition, respect and solidarity with women around the world and that requires breaking the silence and invisibility. it is an act that is often largely symbolic, but has enormous impacts in terms of taking concrete efforts to out women from silence in invisibility. the second is the politics of redistribution, it is inescapable. looking at the redistribution of foreign aid and trade and military resources. we have to look for it and we
have to pay for it if we want to have women's rights internationally. the third is of course domestic feminist activism has to be fostered and connected to international feminist activism. building women's leadership domestically and abroad. building womens power. in the process, the u.s. has got to do more to build a global alliance for women's rights, to counter increasingly coordinated backlash forces. another point is leave no vacuums. there have been vacuums of gover nance in parts of the world and nothing loves a vacuum like radical extremists. the u.s. has to stand up for women's rights at every opportunity in every place. and finally politics of accountability and consequences for neglect of a women's rights agenda which will require questioning some of the u.s.'
alliances. the u.s. is already a global leader on women's rights. i worked at the u.n. for a decade as an advocate for women's rights in peace and security. and i knew where i had to go when i needed a friend and i always do. but the u.s. mission was home and this is very important to know that the u.s. is a leader on women's rights and human rights. but, yes, it could be more consistent. and it could act sometimes with a lot more conviction. the issue of where is the conviction in top leadership is something that has to be addressed. geopolitical factors shape opportunities for the acceptance or rejection of demands for women's rights internationally. the interests of states and the relations between them and their relations with powerful non-state actors ranging from armed groups to private corporations shape women's rights everywhere and shape opportunities to advance the status of women.
so the way the united states navigates past the current global squeeze on women's rights will have massive repercussions for feminism around the world in years to come. if i give a brief post-war history sketch of the story of women's rights internationally and the u.s.' role, we have the formation of the u.n. after the war, and the u.s.' response to its cold war with the soviet union and the east was to limit the u.n.'s power over domestic politics, also to limit the idea of expansion of women's right ask a distinct area within the u.n. system. now, this changes in the '70s. there was a temporary abatement of the cold war. and a major wave of post-colonial decolonization. many of whom actually turned out
to be quite interested in women's rights. the u.s. emerged in the earl '70s in fact as the outfront leader on women's rights in the united nations in the multi-lateral feeled. it sponsored the international women's conference and the drafting of the convention of the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. that was actually of course a republican administration that did that. it also under the next administration sponsored the houston conference, the famous houston conference which provide add massive boost to the domestic feminist and women's movement in the u.s. there was a stagnation or a stalling of all of this in the 1980s and a backtracking of multi-lateralism and interest. then in the 199s, there was a third wave of expansion of ngos and women's rights movements and
the major international conferences that set up huge achieve. s on women's rights and agreements on women's rights. and of course now in the post-9/11 period and particularly since about 2008 which i mark with a russian invasion of georgia, actually, there's been a rerefrigeration of relations between the east and west. and a lot more rejigidity in international negotiations on women's rights. there's been what's called the democratic recession or stalling. there's been the occupation of vacuums in somalia, libya, mali, extremely violent groups, often islamic extremists, environmental and economic crises, the u.s.' loss of credibility as a leader of human rights because of the fallout of invasions of iraq and
afghanistan. i don't want to depress you, but i think we need to take stock of the current situation and it sobering. assumptions about continued upwards progress has been democ unseated by those things i just mentioned and an ewroegs of democracy even in the west with the rise of oligarchic issues. and money trumps, and an individual named trump is representing that wherewithal decision making. the defeat of revolutionary ideologies nin the 20th century have fueled -- and a belief in alternative to capitalism to a
metastasizing form of extreme hyperviolence, masculinist expression only in vie ens will. >> religious fundamental lichl. anti-modernism, all of which is articulated as anti-u.s. position. so regrettably, when the u.s. supports women's rights that becomes the reason to oppose it by many of these anti-imperialist groups. this is compounded by the deepening of inequalities with and between states, and these inequalities are sharpening, not eroding gender differences, and i think that's what you were alluding to as well. so, just to sort of, i'm surely running out of time. so i am. now what we've seen at the u.n. is the emergence of an explicit anti-feminist global coalition, and it actually has a name and a process, it's called the group of the friends of the family. sounds sweet.
but this group was announced in january of this year by the ambassador of belarus. and let me just tell you who the members are. belarus, egypt, indonesia, iran, kuwait, pakistan, nigeria, qatar. saudi arabia, somalia and zimbabwe. that was the group in january. it's since expanded considerably. this is a very curious alliance of current u.s. allies. some of the world's biggest democracies with huge feminist movements like nigeria and malaysia and indonesia. plus, former socialist states creeping towards islamic thighocracies. what do they have in common? they have in common a commitment to erode women's rights and sexual minority. and this group is operating as a bloc. every year, the holy see treats
them to a retreat in arizona at a spa, where they get training in how to negotiate in international negotiations on women's rights. they're given explicit language. where is the coalition on women's rights? the reason there isn't an explicit one is because there is a reluctance to suggest this is a western issue, which of course it is not just a western issue at all. so i'm out of time. so what do we need? coming back to the policy of recognition, solidarity and redistribution. the u.s. is a global leader on women's rights. it is a nation that is also a universal idea. it has had a complex and am biv length relationship with multi-lateralism and has to get past its reluctance to engage in multi-lateralism. and it can lead without resorting to military intervention. there's got to be inspiration in partnership. this means bringing commitments
to women's rights, not just into foreign aid projects but reexamining the u.s.'s alliances, clients, trade relations and acai laum immigration laws and means a clearer legislative framework for this, which mean, i don't know, it's still got to be kept on the foreign relations committee agenda, also passing the national violence against women act. third, a politics of recognition requires going out there and looking for the women, because you won't see them if you're involved in the homo social project of men talking to men about what they think only concerns men. you've got to look for them, that means promoting affirmative action policies saying we won't engage in peace talks unless there's women there and so on. a politics of solidarity involves women's power. it's women saying this is what women want. and mechanisms for uniting include things like building
networks. the biggest non-event this year, the big non-event in this year of anniversaries was the holding of a fifth world conference on women's rights which was due this year in beijing. these conferences build solidarity and networks. i'm rushing since i'm out of time. institutionalizing change in the state department and other parts of the administration has to require serious money and appointment of significant high-level staff to positions on women's rights. and that includes from my perspective when i was at the u.n., negotiators at the security counsel thcil to the p. they tended to be rather junior, and this would be their first assignment. that's not right. we need the same kind of seniority that iran is sending, polished, experienced diplomats who know how to bargain. avoid vacuums, sustain a middle class and women's collective action and accountability. i have no time.
i will just finish with a point that you alluded to. the virginia wolf quote, were you quoting her last night. very important from the three guineas. as a woman, i have no country. as a woman, i want no country. as a woman, my country is the whole world. now this has been important in women's rights. transnationalism is the arena in which we've been fighting for women's rights. but the time has come for a country. women need a country as we know. we need nmany countries working in allegiance. and the u.s. should be a leader on this. [ applause ] thank you, thank you. >> thank you, anne-marie, you have packed a lot into a great presentation, and now you will be followed by your colleague, our colleague, patricia liedle who we're so grateful she could pick up the baton for lauren.
patricia's a journalist. and like anne-marie, patricia has quite a bit of experience with u.n. agencies and mule tie-lateralism. so i hope you will get to sprinkle your own insights regarding that. >> that will probably have to wait for the q&a because i've been tasked to actually raid lauren's speech, which i'm happy to do. i have abbreviated it, and lauren, if you're watching, please, i'm sorry, i've tried to maintain your voice as much as possible. so without much ado, i'll go on. so lauren wolf, she's not here today, but she's here in spirit. when does a vie lafgs women's bodies become a red line? how many millions of lives must be ruined or lost before we consider that a red line. i'm not talking about the random acts of violence, but the sim temmized use of rape, mutilation and torture undertaken by armed forces or militias controlled by government or opposition or
other nonat any state actors. i'm talking go a policy of specifically targeting women and girls tor some of the most horrifying abuses conceived by the human imagination. two years ago this week i became angry. i'd been tracking sexual violence in the syrian war for a long time and had received little response from policymakers from our government, the u.k. and of course the u.n. cases piled up along with the bodies, and yet the response was nil. and now suddenly president obama was responding. but not to cases of rape or torture, but to the possible use of chemical weapons. it was a so-called red line. the one thing that would propel his administration into action. okay. so chemical weapons are abhorrent, but so, too, is the wholesale destruction of female bodies and minds. how many lives will be destroyed before the security of women's bodies and the sanction at this time of their, of our, rights becomes a red line.
so during those angry days, i spoke with eve of vanceler, the author of the vagina monologues. as many of you know, the dr congo is one of the worse countries in the world in which to be born a woman. for, like syria, all parties to the conflict target women and girls. so much so that the researchers have coined the term vaginal destruction to describe the extreme nature of the abuse. for how many years i was asked, have we been banging on the doors of the white house saying thousands and thousands of women have been raped. she like many i spoke to was not and are not voebtsing for a military intervention in places where women bear the braunts of the fallout of war. they're asking for political intervention based on human rights violation. but still, no one seems to be listening. why?
for one thing like representatives in congress have turned a blind eye to the violence for a simple reason. it does not disturb their preconceived notions about where violence is normal. if people divide their understanding of militarized violence into normal and not normal, acceptable and not acceptable, it makes a terrible kind of sense. violence against women has been normalized, especially in africa. the example of the refugee crisis and inaction can be explained perhaps by the response to one particularly damning question. do the people at risk matter to the people in power. and the answer, it would seem, is no. so, from here, i want to imagine a world in which all people matter, including women and girls. what would that look like? and here, as lauren's proxy, i'll just paraphrase what she described in the next few paragraphs of her speech, which will be, i understand uploaded online and which you can access later on. because lauren is a journalist,
she's been privileged to meet the women who are most affected by this lack of foreign policy attention as i have in may work in afghanistan and yemen and central america. in her full speech, which we can post online, she describes two women. syrian refugees whose lives are defined by the limitations of being born female and poor in a region that respects neither. rema's prets eye, so she married. abeer is too impoverished. i find it interesting while the media talks about bored young men in the middle east. they're silent when it comes to abeer's mental health. could they not be helped by a better life. putting aside for now that girls like her sister are being soiled off into a marriage, let's think about what happens to others. does it not make sense for our
foreign policy to address what happens to this lost generation of young women and to stop thinking about the young men only. and apart from fears of radicalization, for the basic reason that educating and employing young women makes sense. the women and girls that i've met living the reality of war all over the world tell me that armed conflict is not what the media makes it out to be. it is not bombs. it is not just bombs. be they be cluster bombs or dropped by drones or lobbed over walls. war is what happens to the people caught in the war zone, and those people are mainly civilians, often refugees who make up 90% of conflict-related casualti casualties. in other words, the safest place to be in a war zone is the guy with the gun. war is rape. and the silence and suffering that surrounds the victims, but
neither the act or the person trart. war is the acknowledgement that soldiers are worthy of reparations when they're injured but that civilians who have been sexually violated or born of rape such as an entire generation of kids in rwanda are not. it's worth noting that the men who've been ordering to pay insist that they can't afford the piddling $15,000. and because i work in media, i ask myself why it is that what happens to women and children are considered soft stories, soft or pink stories are traditionally left off the front page. is it because a media run by men prioritizes the male experience in are these soft issues not hard enough because women are not of the highest levels of government in equal numbers? it is because they are not -- is it because they are not at negotiating tables when it comes
to creating peace in countries, or is this just a symptom? after 15 years of the signing of resolution 1325 on women's peace and security, peace agreements are almost exclusively negotiated by men and for men. a ngo leader who pushed for the inclusion of syrian women at the peace talks last year said, when we talk about women at the table, the men see them as the table cloth. she also said the future of syria should not exclusively be decided by those who carry guns. what if we conceived of what we thought of as a soft war, the one that includes civilians as the predominant feature of fighting in the 20th century. maybe we would think about and address the plight of refugees differently, we would think about what it does to girls like rema and abir. unemployed men become frustrated and take it out on their wives.
the one person more powerless than they are. could we somehow prevent this, knowing if you will well it is the typical feature of life of a life of displacement and statelessness. the bottom line is that this isn't just about women when we discuss them in the context of foreign policy and national security. sexual trauma and violence destroys families with repercussions that cut through multiple generations. it guts communities and sews the seeds of future violence. and it isn't just about assisting victims but attempting to rae habl date perpetrators and assisting societying to understand gender-based violence for what it is and before it occurs. gender-based violence is the most pervasive and entrenched of human rights violations inflicted on one half of the pop haitian by the other half. which brings us to the proverbial elephant in the war zone. what happens to former soldiers in places lake congo where researchers reveal that men who
are not properly counseled and reents greated into civilian life will continue to rape. they discovered something strange, that when the fighting ends, the incidents of rape increased by as much as 17 times. why does the coverage of war stop when the bombs stop falling. the reality is that these kinds of disconnects exist all over the world. from south sudan to afghanistan. we hear only a slice of what makes up the experience of conflict. and from my journalist perspective, i can't help but point out that might yeah attention shapes diplomatic and military response. zoo when the media gives its airtime or calls attention to something like syria and the weapons, that is what we will draw, that is what will draw possible intervention or even medical aid, so, again, one is a red line, but the other is not.
i have met too many women in my life who have never considered justice. next to nobody is progs cuting these crimes or handing money or assistance. it is not decided by the major issues of conflict. aka male issues. the police are usually men. they laugh, bribe or re-rape women seeking an arrest. this cycle of violence, if we pay attention to all facets of the conflict, if we can gain the attention of policymakers, can the world become a more peaceful place in which both women and men's lives are valued equally. i am grad there are so man ief you out there pushing the bould irup the hill. thank you.
lauren wolf. [ applause ] >> great job. great job. briefly, because we have just a little bit of time left, so maybe ten minutes. 10, 15, with an interaction among the three of you, and because there's so little time, there's so many questions that pop into my hid, but i thinkc'se biggest one is the one that valerie mentioned this morning. the very simple yet weighty question. how do we do this? so that's the question i want to throw out to you all. we're looking at the headlines now. i think it's wrong to say that the world isn't watching, listening or seeing what's going on. it's what do we do, and how do we do this? how do we create the critical mass of alliance that we need for the critical questions that we're seeing. how do we find those resources and distribute those resources
that anne-marie talked about? maybe a rapid response fund that might help those whose lives are on the red line now. and how we better connect the dots in terms of our bureaucracies, our multi-lateral association. so there are several questions that go under that one, but i want to throw that out to you. how do we do it? >> well, i think one, one way that helps internationally and at home is to understand that there's a global women's movement. it is not -- and i'm delighted and proud of the united states' part in it. but feminism isn't a u.s. issue. it wasn't invented here. it isn't a global north issue. leadership more and more has come from the global south who know what they're doing, and it
is our job in the global north to listen and work with that. you were mentioning the pattern of ethnic bigotry in the world at large of religious fundamentalism, of violent rhetoric and violent acts. i could add in there the international arms trade and so forth. what happens when we look at home, where we find more and more ethnic bigotry, religious fundamentalism. i call it the domestic, the u.s. taliban. the friends of the fetus, the bombers of the abortion clinics. the violent rhetoric and acts. and we don't even have a sain domestic policy on guns. i realize i'm in texas, but probably the most progressive the people in texas are in this room. which makes me nervous. they could drop a net over all of you. but it's true. we have to look to our own house and not position ourself as the
beacon of the world, even in those rare occasions where we are, and i'm proud of those, and approach the international community with the kind of humility that has been discussed before in rhetoric but never really practiced. with what i would call feminist diplomacy. because, in fact, women around the world are in the same boat. that does not maean that women n the u.s. who suffer bias, particularly european american women are in the same boat as the women in syria or avgs. but it does mean that the settings and the kogs tombs and the the dialog may differ in extreme, but the plot is exactly the same. andize we're in the same boat. that female genital mutilation was practiced in the united states in the 1940s we're not the branding it savages.
it's a matter of approaching the global women's community and beyond that with humility and respect and listening to women ourselves and starting at home. that's one way. >> could i just follow in on that? [ applause ] >> i've spent quite a bit of time in the field in afghanistan and yemen, and i also do, you know, reputation management as well. and one of my observations over the years is that if you want to have credibility you have to have credibility. and you have to be seen to have credibility. and a key component of credibility is humility. and the ability to listen. and oneish issues that used to confront me was my staff would come up to me saying we thought you were better than we were, but here you are firing people without cause, you're hargs the female staff, your female contractors are being
fired without cause because they're pushing gender too much. it's making their male colleagues uncomfortable. so where is your credibility? how can you actually tell us about what democracy is, what human rights are, when we see you abusing the human rights of your own staff, and i think that's really, really important. if you want to be a leader, you actually have to be better than everyone else. and the u.s., for many decades was that kind of leader. but in order to maintain that leadership, you have to maintain vigilance and constantly keeping your own house in order. and creating the benchmarks. >> in terms of the how, what do we do? >> i very much agree with my colleagues. probably the most important thing is something that may not
sound like foreign policy, but it is giving space and voice to women's movements and enabling them to thrive. the u.s. has a very important role to play in protesting the abuse of women's human rights offenders. but in terms of funding and things like that there is the problem that comes from the u.s.'s loss of credibility in terms of this feminism being seen as a western concern, which it absolutely is not. but when the u.s. supports women's movements around the world that can lead to their loss of credibility. what kind of funding processing would help to foster, an enri enriching of women's collective action around the world. if we think back to what valerie said earlier, if countries where
there's, they're more stable. what leads to countries having high gender equality and less violence against women? there is one thing that's been found, which is strong, vocal women's movements, engaged in public decision making. so this is a really key part of social transformation. and there's a very interesting funding experiment being run right now by the dutch government which is to support women's collective action in north africa and the middle east by funding organizations, but not by funding women's organizations projectiprojects. but rather funding women's organizations development as organizations. paying for a financial officer, the kpch of computers. the development of internal system, enabling them to be organizations and to develop constituencies. and after they are funded to do
this, price water house cooper steps in and does an audit. which is gold. you have that audit. you can then apply for funding anywhere. that's an interesting approach. domestic feminism is strong in many countries that should be part of a global alliance on women's rights, like south africa, brazil, india, domestic feminism is india, india probably has the biggest women's movement in the world in terms of numbers. it's strong, but it's not influencing policy. and arguably that's the same in u.s. history as well, to say the least. then there's the question of supporting democratization in these countries in order to enable more of the feminist voice in foreign policy and make international decision making more transparent. just another thing in terms of the concrete how. this was alluded to in lauren wolf's comments. it is striking to people like me and many here that we know that
sexual violence is going to happen in almost every conflict. we know that domestic violence goes up exponentially in many conflicts, and yet we don't anticipate this problem, and we don't set in place city tsystem deal with it. we know that refugees need food and shelter. we know they need asylum, and we set them up. not adequately for sure, but they are set up in places where conflict happens. why don't we do these things on gender? we know if women have control over land they will increase agricultural production. so starting to incorporate this knowledge into the reflex of foreign aid and foreign affairs is crucial. and that is my question to all of you. why doesn't that happen? because we know it. you all know it, and the state department knows it and usa knows it. can we open it up to the floor? we have a few minutes for q&a.
any questions? great. >> hi, my name's olivia, i'm a sophomore at texas a&m. my question is, what are your views on abortion? shouldn't women have a say in what can be done with their bodies? >> in terms of a foreign policy perspective? are you asking? >> as more of a domestic question. my apologies. it can be seen as a foreign policy issue as well. >> well, maybe, if we could, because it might bridge other questions that might be out there, might you also be interested in the, in terms of a pillar of u.s. foreign policy, women's health, including women's reproductive health, i think that might be --
>> a better question? >> a better leadup to where do we go from here. so let's throw out the health issue, and i think valerie made the great correlation today between health and women's inclusion. >> whether the "a" word is a problem or not. whether a woman is able to control her own reproductive system, women cannot be full human beings with their full agency over their lives. this has been a political football of our foreign policy, back and forth, depending on different administrations. funding for, funding against, no fungd. can't maengs it. can't mention it abroad. and this has got to stop. it is simply a basic human right, and that's all that there should be to it, and nothing more needs to be said. and the vatican, islamist coalition that seems to have
forgotten the crew sasd because it's more important to stop women interest controlling their own reproduction has to be swept aside and this has to stop being a political football at home so it isn't one abroad, period. [ applause ] >> well, of course this is a trigger issue. maybe i shouldn't use the word trigger when we're talking about conflict. >> and guns. >> and guns. it is the reason why u.s. foreign policy on women's rights is not stronger. becausena domestic policy, in u.s. dome postic policy, there such a profound rift on this issue. the helms amendment has shaped women's rights in this issue. i would say, once again, talk to the women, talk to the women who are in conflict zones. what do they need? what do they want?
if you're in congo in a rape crisis center. there are very few. a young 14 year old girl came in with a wound on her side and a baby on the other side. she would say do i have to have this rapist's baby? there's a line in resolution 21-22 of the u.n. security council which is extremely interesting. it's in the preambler paragraph. it says that anybody who has been a victim of war has the right to treatment without any discrimination. soldier or civilian, to medical treatment without discrimination. if we take the term to really mean without discrim narks it means we cannot discriminate between the medical needs of
women and men. they have different needs. it allows them to decide what to do about a potential pregnancy. >> i'd like to weigh in on another issue. the denial of contraceptive, contraception and safe abortion is a violation of women's human rights. we have examples, for example in honduras, in guatemala and el salvador where it's illegal for a woman to have an abortion, even if she has an ectopic pregnancy. even in a situation where a woman has no chance of surviving, her child has no chance of surviving, she can still not obtain an abortion. so what is that? is that state-sanctioned murder? i would suggest that it is. so the issue of access to contraception and safe abortion, in my opinion, is critical to the development, critical to peace and security, critical to human development. i've also worked in many nations
as my co-panelists have, where i've met women who have had 10, 12 children and they've gone insane. i met one woman who had 12 children. and nine of them had died. and she was effectively a prisoner of her own body. she had no access to birth control, and yet down the road. there was another aid agency dispensing va agiagra for men. i won't say where this was. but that was considered a critical health need in that area. and yet women weren't getting contraceptive, excuse me, contraception. >> and i would like, if i could, having covered some of these issues for some years, and particularly, in the context of afghanistan, i think there's some issues that are very connected to women's health and
the health of girls. and that are connected to practices that are allowed by tradition or excused to culture or to the lack of legal implementation. and i want to mention the problem that has broken may heart for 13 years, when i worked on, with afghan women, and that is the issue of forced and child marriages. i believe, according to unicef, 60% of the young women in afghanistan are under the age of 16 when they are married. there are 8-year-old girls who are forcibly married to 40, 50, 60 year old men. i think it is, it is, it should be part of the red line for all of us working together. it's an issue i feel strongly about. and if you look at early marriage, marriages of girls, we've talked about women today, but there are girls here who, i
think, are pretty voiceless. and the problem of obstetric fist la which occurs when a very young girl bears a child it's a horrible problem. the clinics are full. there's not enough help. so i think it's, the question is a good one, but it's very complicated. and there are a lot of different challenges involved. do we have time for one more, valerie? or would you like us to wrap up? >> i was actually going to ask a question. >> oh, good. i thought maybe you were giving me -- >> this is for you. i've heard the panelists talk about the democratization, and i'd like to challenge you. it certainly seems to me, on the basis of what we saw in the arab uprising that democracy's been bad for women. and that in fact some of the best regimes for women have been long-standing autocrats who towards the end of their lives
have finally realized that women are people and they should do something for them. and the second question i'd like to ask is even though a couple of you have mentioned how our alliance structures would change if we took the cause of women seriously, give me an example. who would you drop as an eye ll what would the consequences be? >> who with you drop as allies. >> who would we droop tor draw? >> probably our only allies would be the scandinavians and, but that's my first thought. my second is a realization is the scandinavians and all the villages at village level around the world. where the women who are maybe nonliterate, who are supposedly non-powerful, who are supposedly just women reside. they would understand, and that's a very powerful set of
allies. i don't know yet, since i'm just making that discovery of linking that to scandinavians how that gets organized. but that's, those would be the extremes. and probably not so many in the middle. whether they had oil or not. >> emory? >> okay. so the, let me start with the point on alliance which is a terribly difficult one. because the real politic requires alliance with arms purchasers and, you know, geostrategically located nations that will host u.s. military bases. that is an enormously difficult question and requires fraytrade. but the u.s. has really interesting alliancing in tes i u.n. or potential allies that i don't feel are being
cultivatesed enough on this issue. the big voices in women's righting debates this year and last year were small and not very powerful countries. uruguay, the philippines, south korea and also middle-sized countries that are enormously interesting. chile, argentina, brazil. and there's many, many more. moist of the central american countries. they're complicated because of catholicism, but there are some very interesting allies. sometimes turkey. so beyond the scandinavians and the obvious europeans, a lot more can be done to work with those countries to develop an explicit, shared commitment to work together on these issues. now of course when the u.s. comes forward with women's righting it immediately becomes a red flag and the trigger for the opposition, but the u.s. can work behind these countries in these debates and have them come forward with propositions that the u.s. uses.
it's enormous power. so there's constructive and new alliances that are possible. i'm out of time. democracies, complicated question. i'm glad you brought it up. but i'm being told time is out. to say very briefly, women would have done much better in the arab spring if the world had been supporting democratic -- earlier. and so they didn't collapse and the muslim brotherhood moved in. women need election machines too. >> can i add something? historically, what we've seen with revolutions is that they're typically followed by terror. so, whenever there's a power vacuum, it's going to be filled by the most extreme. the french revolution, to go on and on and on. so i think, in terms of foreign policy, the united states and its allies have to l very wary
of supporting revolutions, because there are unintended consequences which can actually be far worse than the original despot or tyranny that precedes it. and i would say, and it's something that valerie and i mentioned in her book. in the world of real politic feminism it is probably wiser to promote the secular devil that you know than the non-secular devil that you don't. at least in a secular society, there will be change. there is education. people can sit in their cafes and talk, for the most part. and we've seen, of course, with the ba'athist regime under saddam hussein, women enjoyed more rights than they do now. similarly in egypt under mubarak. so it behooves the united states and its allies to be very, very careful in the future not to be too quick to support rebellions, particularly when they're islamic in nature or, the enemy
of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. we need to choose our allies carefully and see who will promote the democratization in the long run, and i mean the inclusive security, observing and honoring the rights of all people. >> thank you, thank you. and if i can wrap up maybe with an observation as a former diplomat, a former person who had worked at the state department and on international women's issues, i used to find that how we make the case is just as important as who do we make it to. and, if we look at potential new alliances, i think we have to do a better job making the case, about why standing up for the cause of women and girls is not certainly a soft thing. please get rid of that phrase.
it's not just the right thing to do. it's the smart thing to do. and you make that case, and i have, with men from other countries across the desk when you say here's the win/win, and this is why this will be the smart thing for you to do are to your country. in afghanistan, men have seen that when their wives, their daughters get jobs, the bottom line improves for them too. and i think michelle made this point very well this morning. what works? what's going to make the whole thing more effective? and what are the better results you're going to see? and so get off the moral -- we know what's right because it's right. but what sa smart because it's smart. and my concluding remark would be, and i think often of this proverb that's an african proverb. and it's something along the lines of, if you want to go
fast, go alone. if you want to go far, go together. so let's find ways we can go together, build that common ground, and frankly, when i look at the road ahead, and, as we look at the challenges ahead, i think we couldn't have any better traveling companions than the wonderful people we have with us here in this panel and here in this audience today. thank you very much for your attention. [ applause ] c-span takes you on the road to the white house. best access to the candidates at town hall meetings, speeches, and meet and greeting. we're taking your comments on twitter, facebook and always by phone. and every campaign we cover is available on our website, c-span.org. at politico.com, this is the
head line. trump and cruz send shivers down gop's spines. the prospect of either man at republican nominee setting off alarm bills. we're joined on the phone by alex isenstadt. >> thank you. >> you've been talking to state party officials, what sa tis th concern? >> the concern is if donald trump or ted cruz is the nominee, it would turn off more moderate voters and make life a lot harder for republicans who are running for the house and senate in 2016. the republicans have a historic opportunity to control the white house and the house and senate. >> but this comes the same time that donald trump dominating in the national polls. he and ted cruz are neck and neck in iowa, and huge crowds.
we saw that last night in lowell, massachusetts, for donald trump. so clearly he's resonating with a key sector of the electorate. >> he's resonating with a key sector of the electorate, but keep in mind that life can become a lot more difficult for republicans, you know, if, for either of these candidates in the event they're facing hillary clinton in the general election. there are big questions whether they're able to expand their appeal, whether they're able to expand the number of states that mitt romney won four years ago. and so, look, that 's going to e the real challenge that republicans face in 2016. >> let's talk about key states. >> in ohio, you have rob portman running for reelection, a tough race. he's likely facing off against
former democratic governor ted strickland. this is a tough race, and ohio is a key swing state, and rob portman is doing all the things republicans say he needs to do to win reelection in 2016. but this is going to be a tough race for him. there are big questions. if donald trump is the nominee or if ted cruz is the nominee, is rob portman going to endorse either one of them? is he going to show up? is portman who is sort of a chamber of commerce republican and hails from that establishment of the party, is he going to show up at the party's convention in cleveland, ohio this summer? >> and let me ask you about the gop establishment. is there such a thing? >> the gop establishment is the washington crew of consultants,
lobbyist lobbyists, donors and law makers that are a bit more moderate than the conservative tea party crowd that infiltrated d.c. starting in the 2010 election. so there are two wings of the party, and you're seeing that play out to some extent in this race. you have people like trump and cruz running in the much more conservative lane. and occupying the more establishment lane are jeb bush, chris christie, marco rubio and john kasich. >> you talk about john cast cas nose. >> he is a long-time television, republican television consultant. he has been going around, talking to a lot of republican donors, talking to a lot of
republican elites, operatives, essentially interested in starting a campaign targeting trump. no one's actually done anything yet. and so cast law nose has been talking about a campaign that would cost well into the millions of dollars that would brand trump as a flawed straw man type figure. and these meetings that he is having, i understand have been taking place up until the last few weeks. it's unclear whether he's actually going to go through with anything. it's unclear if he has the money to do anything. but there is an appetite and hunger out there to take down donald trump. the problem is we're getting closer and closer to the first votes cast on february 1st. the time is really running out if republicans do want to lodge a stop-trump movement. some people are saying, if we
want to stop donald trump, it's best to let him sort of hang himself on his own. >> but he remains the front runner in the polls and has so for the last seven or eight months. >> and there's no indication that something could stop him. romney has not endorsed a candidate yet. he is expressing growing frustration about donald trump's prolonged lead in polls. romney, when we talk to his aides, he long believed that he stumbled earlier and go down. that hasn't happened. and romney's concerned about the impact that trump is having now on the party's brand. romney has not endorsed a candidate in this race, but he's