Feminist Foreign Policy

My whole thrust now is that the presidential campaign should be used to educate the public on where we go globally in a democratic administration. That is what I am trying to do - think globally.

Fern Sidman in her article, A Concerned Eye on Durban states:

"The United Nations Human Rights Commission originally billed the Durban conference of 2001 as a, “world conference against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.” Its goals were to address, “trafficking in women and children, migration and discrimination, gender and
racial discrimination, racism against indigenous peoples and protection of minority rights”. What resulted at the Durban conference was nothing less than a politically hijacked agenda."
And this is exactly what the UN is doing in their new campaign to "reduce violence against women" They use women and children to RAISE FUNDS AND HIJACK AGENDAS. Because they have learned those words (women, violence, children, peace) work to generate funds.

However, feminists learned a long time ago how to use the man when he pretends to be a true believer. The idea is to try to use what ever opportunities exist to raise the status of women globally. The loyalty is to our gender, but our vision of equality is inclusive of the entire human experience - this is feminism.

It is critical that feminist create policy at the State Dept Office of International Women's Issues (OIWI) with the republican women under Sec. Rice who are already doing a fine job there, building a world network of individuals working for woman's rights in every county in the world.

They have been building strong roads for other women to travel into the world of the patriarchies.

Hillary/Biden should keep the repub woman at the State Dept and add feminist from the Domestic Violence movement to their staff. In his new bill, the International Violence Against Women Act , Biden creates an entirely new Woman's Office. I do not know if it expands the OIWI or eliminates it. The Office of the Senior Co-Ordinator for International Women's Issues (OIWI) should remain and continue. The new I-VAW Office should be merged with it. Office of International Women's Issues (OIWI) should control the US State Dept, the UN Ambassador and USAID. They will have to be able to use the military especially women soldiers and pilots. Biden's I-VAWA bill gives the new Office that power.

This is another opportunity for feminists to unite dems and repub women allowing us to work together for the good of women globally. Keep those women all of them especially those who have been answering to the public. I hope that we will not blow this opportunity for non partisan politics. After a dem is elected the expanded OIWI at State must be bi-partisan or we cannot effect change at the UN and in develop a feminist foreign policy.

If we had control of these US agencies politically, women could demand through our ambassador that the US make conditional as part of our UN financial contribution the right to hire the staff and control accountability of all money used by the UN to assist women and children.

If the UN does not agree we could take all of our contribution and set up women's projects for countries that do accept our conditions - we should do the same thing with our peacekeeper contribution.

We had a good representative in Bolton but he did not use the strategy I am proposing and I never heard him speak about women's rights. Of course no one spoke for women at his appointment process. The left's attacks on Bolton should have been met with arguments about the status of women globally and Bolton should have been charged with making the changes in staff and gender project accountability.

But that approach might interfere with the CIA's use of the UN. Our own CIA is the real obstacle to reform and accountability at the UN. We may have a large part of that UN corruption.

However now that U.N. Secretary-General Ban and the others at the UN are becoming feminists, the US should agree to the idea.

185 countries have ratified the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, while the United States has not. Many non-Western countries have social norms that justify abuse (such as genital mutilation, forced marriage, and polygamy), and "international standards" would vastly diminish the rights and benefits U.S. women now enjoy.

At least this is the argument for our refusal to sign. The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women has a U.N. monitoring committee which can force compliance with its' goals.

However at the same time we say that we will not lower our standards to sign the treaty, we also claim that the treaty includes everything from unlimited abortion rights to rewriting schoolbooks to eliminate stereotypes and gender-specific references. And therefore that is why we do not sign.

P Shaffley writes on Townhall:"

Pakistan has ratified the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. That's the country where a tribal council ordered a young woman gang-raped to avenge her brother's crime of being seen with an unchaperoned woman from another tribe. Gang rape is common in Pakistan. Nigeria has ratified the convention. That's a country where women are stoned to death for the crime of adultery. Islamic law, called Sharia, calls for death to women who commit adultery, but a lesser punishment for adulterous men. Saudi Arabia has ratified the convention."

Because of Bush's war policies all these country's are under pressure to change their treatment of women. We must keep up this pressure.

All these countries are eligible to sit on the convention's monitoring committee of 23 "experts" who monitor "progress" and order compliance.

Why not demand that the women who receive Courage Awards from the US State Dept. sit on the convention's monitoring committee of 23 "experts" who monitor "progress" and order compliance representing the countries which have oppressed them.

SEE, the US State Dept website, Office of International Women's Issues (OIWI) to view the bios of the women who receive "Courage" awards.

We can require the women write annual reports describing the obstacles they face. Set up projects so these monitors can act as conduits between women from free countries and oppressed women.

Donna Hughes has an article "Defeating the Woman-Haters," FrontPageMagazine.com, January 17, 2005, stating that an insistence on women's rights can undermine fascism. Her entire analysis can be overlapped on the situation at the UN and her solutions apply as well.

Mark Steyn presents a version of Donna Hughe's analysis in his new book called "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It" (Regnery, $28). He states that the majority of women in European battered women's shelters are Muslim. He suggests that a serious push for women's rights in the Islamic world could destabilize Islamic regimes such as Iran.

Once again , I say, the same analysis applies to the UN. We should start now by educating those who are running for the US presidency as to how the US should relate, as a feminist, to the UN. This would be the present task of the feminist movement, if we had a non partisan coalition of left and right women committed to equal and secular rights for women globally. In other words, a feminist movement.

The UN started their campaign with a report issued in October by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called "In-Depth Study on All Forms of Violence Against Women." The report is said to be based on interviews with 24,000 women conducted by the World Health Organization. The "statistics are appalling." says Biden.

Indeed they are, says Phyllis Shaffley on Townhouse"But it doesn't follow that the solution is the report's
demand for "consultation with women's groups" with "adequate funding streams" to develop "international standards" for all nations. "

I have already commented on the standards of most of the signers of the UN treaties.

The US must insist that the standards are those of every democracy and define democracy as equal rights and opportunity for individual self control and security; all the rights guaranteed by the US constitution.

We have to stop apologizing and accept that those US court defined rights are the base standard. If we are imposing our values on other cultures then we must be clear about naming those values and their corresponding rights specifically as to how they are interpreted in the societies that have the most women at the top of their power structures.

Specifying in detail how the US defines the rights of a free woman regardless of the society she is born inside and demanding these standards acceptance be the price of our participation.

The United States should come to the UN table with far more specific requests for policy control in proportion to a country's compliance with the the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women treaty. Everyone can sign a treaty but those with the most documented compliance should have power to monitor the others.

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., the leading advocate of ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women is introducing a bill in the US Senate titled the International Violence Against Women Act, which would create millions of dollars of pork unless feminists in special committee control distribution of those funds and assess accountability. This could be done by the State Dept's OIWIs with the new Office the I-VAWA creates.

The I-VAWA's stated mission is to carry out a campaign of policy advocacy and education, consulting with dozens of U.S organizations, grass-roots organizing, and working with strategic media partners.

It echo's Kofi Annan's language.

The same vague CIA language which creates the path for diversion of funds from women to the professionals in charge of its' distribution.

Is the I-VAWA creating an organization or agency to do advocacy and collect information or does the bill just fund NGO's to do it? Or will this responsibility be given to the Office of International Women's Issues at the US State Dept?

(Note: In the I-VAWA a new dept is created, in place of the OIWIs)

I think the Office of the Senior Coordinator of International Women's Issues (OIWI) should be expanded to coordinate and collect info, to develop policy and to fund programs with the assistance of the US military, USAID, the govt auditors and the UN Ambassador. They have developed the contacts with women's rights workers globally. They should remain to continue building the network. I wish Condi could remain as negotiator or coordinator.

I am sick of losing good articulate and skilled producers for women because they're on the wrong "side". Rice's refusal to veil herself when dealing with middle east patriarchs is exactly the courage I expect of US female politicians. Pelosi wore a garbage bag for the Syrian dictator. Disgraceful.

I know new global women's groups are being created with murky funding sources almost overnight they have sprung to life.

They do not have significant projects history but present very slick websites. They do not answer emails. They can be CIA or terrorists fronts or NGOs created by the State Dept. They have no history before 9/11. According to what criteria will the IVAW staff be chosen? What accountability will be required from whom to whom? There are no projects prioritized or specified in the bill.

Fern Sidman states: "According to an EYEontheUN special report entitled,

“The UN-NGO Connection: Spreading the Message of Hate and Terrorism, (June 2006):
“The large number of NGOs have been empowered by UN accreditation to spread anti-Semitism, hate and encourage terrorism from a UN platform. The call for boycotts and sanctions against Israel is a central plank of this campaign.

The UN accredits NGOS through its Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Department of Public Information (DPI), or in Israel’s case, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP).

Accreditation brings with it a number of entitlements, in particular, the wider dissemination of the NGO’s views by way of the UN website, UN conferences and publications.

GreenconsciousnessNOTE: FOR INSTANCE, Founded in 1988,
Coalition Against Traficking in Women was the first international non-governmental organization to focus on human trafficking, especially sex trafficking of women and girls. CATW obtained Category II Consultative Status
with the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1989.
CATW is not one of the NGO's referred to by Ms Sidman but offered to show accredidation process.

The following is a sampling of direct quotes taken from
the sites of UN accredited NGOs:

“The Star of David, which we are told is originally a religious symbol, symbolized hate and evil. Even today, I couldn’t imagine a more hateful sign”.

“We denounce the racist and colonial character of Zionism, Israel’s State ideology…”

“Zionist apartheid, racism, and settler-colonialism in Palestine,,, is violative of the most basic human standards.. Thus, the Palestinian resistance is justified…”

“What do you think of the suicide bombings?… First of all we don’t call it a ’suicide attack,’ we call it a ‘martyr attack.’” "

So the UN is funding Hamas fronts. Women's funds should never go to these organizations. The US through the OIWI must control the use of its funds and conduct our own evaluations.

We should force specific use of funds into the US I-VAWA bill, US funds should build shelters and security projects, secular legal systems, and the right to equality of opportunity with men, by specific change objectives, passage of specific laws, establishment of secular structures.

Those funds can be used for Distribution of wireless teaching and media devices to facillitate the contact of women internationally. Evaluation and accountability and transparency methods should be controlled by the bill and conducted by the US.

The International Violence Against Women Act money will be used to lobby the U.S. Senate for ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The price of our ratification should be requirements as to who is seated on the treaty's monitoring committee to force compliance with its' goals. Those moniters should be women of courage award winners working with OIWI staff. U.S. Women's Issues Officers should also serve as moniters. Additionally, US agencies will track the funds.

The UN policy makers have given lip service lately to women's priorities - Sec-General Ban is hauling out a new campaign to get funds under the banner "reducing violence against women".

Now is the time for our State Dept to insist that the UN appoint feminists who have a demonstrated commitment to equal rights for women globally, to the UN boards, conventions and accounting agencies that distribute and control women's funding. Now is the time to insist the UN structure is reformed so that it becomes more effective in elevating the living standard of every country which accepts its' earth rights/civil rights moniters.

Now is the time to insist on specific objectives , x number of shelters, women police officers, etc. so that progress must be measurable.

The women appointed to the monitoring committee should swear to hold no other priority than to increase women's personal security regardless of her birthplace, religion or lifestyle choices, increase women's access to media, increase her access to education and employment.

Women appointed to develop gender based policy and distribute those funds should be committed first to accountability and transparency but also to establish these US Constitutional rights for all women: the right to equality and privacy, rule by secular law and legal system, freedom of religion and lifestyle, economic self-sufficiency, the right to hold property in her own name, and the right to personal autonomy in dress, speech and lifestyle.

You have to teach why it is in everyone's interest to re-organize this way. The skills require must be taught as well as the reasoning . The UN has no teaching (ie, education) track record that ends in social change. But the US State Dept OIWI under Condi Rice has done a extraordinarily good job of finding the women's rights organizers in other countries and educating them in face to face meetings with US women. So the teaching as begun in both directions. It is important not to interupt that steady process.

Look up UNIFEM, otherwise titled, "The UN Trust Fund To Eliminate Violence Against Women". Maybe the UN could start reducing violence against women by investigating where UNIFEM funds have gone over the past ten years.

UNIFEM is the UN's Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women which has received seven million dollars a year since its' inception. This year the UN asked the funds be increased to Ten Million a year.

NOT ONE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER HAS BEEN BUILT WITH THESE FUNDS. No women have been armed and trained to defend other women. The funds have allegedly been spent for "education". Muslim women are asking for women's shelters, woman's police or guard, and a secular legal system.

I believe the funds have been diverted in the way the oil for food money was diverted - to bureaucrats.

The first need of women globally is security. There can be no security and therefore no human rights without all the rights guaranteed by the US constitution. We have to stop apologizing and accept that those rights are our standard. If we are imposing our values on other cultures then we must be clear about naming them and demanding their acceptance for our participation.

Without security in your person, freedom from physical coercion, there cannot be human rights only slavery. The only way to provide security is through domestic violence and single woman's shelters that are defended by women who are armed, trained in self-defense and who can call in quickly reinforcements if necessary.

There are women who have organized in hard times in this country who know how to do it. These are the feminists who organized shelters in the early 1970's. Chesler can be counted among them in the sense of distributing the reasoning behind the movement. . I am one who developed projects and programs.

Put women such as us in charge of the UN Trust Funds to Reduce Violence by appointing us to UNIFEM's board. The US State Dept and the UN Ambassador must be influenced to care about women's role in reconstruction after disasters and their role in peacekeeping.

To have good plans feminists who have experience in building institutional change in resisting countries, including the US, must have decision making powers. The US Women's Issues Officers must be moniters because they are a conduit to the global organizations who can measure the changes they have made.

Stop Ban's talking for publicity purposes and force him to give an accounting of how the UN is spending the money the UN Trust Fund gets to end violence against women.

Ban's comments ARE just lip service to increase donations to the UN's women's funds and peacekeeping funds. They just spent tons of money for a phony "research" group to write a report saying that the US should increase its' donations to UNIFEM. But the research group will not release any information about what UNIFEM projects have ACCOMPLISHED to date.

The UN actually does NOTHING substantive to actually reduce violence. Face it - all the boys are there at the table - think what agreements could be signed - what programs might be implemented TODAY. Each country might pledge to build 25 new battered women shelters matching funds from UNIFEM. Each country could pledge to accept women into their armed forces to be trained in firearms and defense of those DV shelters.

The US has built one DV shelter in Afghanistan but had planed 8 regional women's centers which could include DV shelters but the Democrats may not keep the pledge when they are in Office.

Google, the US State Dept.'s Office On International Women's Issues and click on the Newsletter. I notice they are no longer talking about plans to build the centers. I don't know if that is to protect the women or because they are no longer going to build. They do have one Courage Award Winner operating one shelter.

This year, the State Department also honors the
achievements of four courageous women from Afghanistan and Iraq: Ms. Mary Akrami - Afghanistan

Mary Akramiis the Director of the Afghan Women Skills
Development Center, which is a women's shelter in Kabul. Women come to the shelter to escape domestic violence or forced marriages, and no one is ever turned away. Women are allowed to stay as long as needed while they recover from
the violence they have suffered, often at the hands of a male relative.

The Center is the only shelter in Kabul providing comprehensive assistance and permitting women to stay longer than a few nights. Shelter staff provide legal advice, literacy classes, psychological counseling, and basic skills training.

Under Ms. Akrami's leadership, several women at the shelter have made the virtually unprecedented move of denouncing their abusers publicly and filing court cases against them.

Notwithstanding threats she has received, Mary Akrami
refuses to be intimidated and remains dedicated to her work. She is on call for women who need her assistance 24 hours a day.

In any case, do not make the mistake of believing all the hype from the UN. Remember how they said the US was starving Iraq's babies and then we found out the UN was stealing all the oil for food money.

You cannot trust what they say, only watch what they do. And it is their own all male peacekeepers who are also raping women in host countries and their certified NGOs who ignore those rapes instead of reporting them. I want to see shelters built with that money and feminist moniters.

If the UN won't do it then give their money to the Office on International Women's Issues and let them do it.


Anonymous Fern Sidman said...

Thank you for posting an excerpt of my article as part of this important article.

Fern Sidman

9:43 PM  

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