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International

From left to right: Dr. Shea Garrison, Concerned Women for America International Affairs; Alfonso Aguilar, Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles and International Human Rights Group; Luis Almagro, Secretary General, Organization of American States; Steven Aden, Americans United for Life; Gualberto Garcia-Jones, International Human Rights Group “On January 28, 2020, international pro-life organizations held a second meeting between and Sec. Almagro to discuss his upcoming reelection in March 2020 and to encourage him to promote the right to life in the American states.”

How Life is Winning in the Americas

By | Blog, International, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Luis Almagro on winning reelection to serve as Secretary General of the Organization of the American States (OAS). Secretary Pompeo commended Almagro for his work promoting democracy in South America and holding Castro accountable in Cuba.

While CWA International is grateful for Almagro’s stance against socialism, including against the illegitimate Maduro regime in Venezuela, there have been concerns regarding his history of proabortion statements

Thankfully, prior to his reelection Secretary Almagro affirmed the right to life and his commitment to uphold that right as a pillar of the OAS convention stating:

“[…] definitely, the principles of religious freedom that I have mentioned and the principles of the right to life are fundamental principles and rights […] The application of the fullest validity of Article 4 of the American Convention is essential.”

Article 4 of the American Convention on Human Rights declares: “Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception.”

It is hard to overstate the significance of this statement by Secretary General Almagro.

This statement is the result of CWA International meeting privately with Secretary Almagro twice in the last three months, working diligently alongside other coalition partners to ask him to defend life and the unborn as the leader of the OAS.

After speaking with him about the importance of protecting all life and upholding the national sovereignty of each member state of the OAS, Secretary Almagro committed to include provisions in his election platform stating abortion is not an international right and affirming the national sovereignty of the countries who oppose abortion. Almagro also promised to support the freedom of religious-based organizations.

The OAS is comprised of 35 member states from North, Central, and South America, including the U.S. and Canada, as well as the Caribbean. According to Article 1 of its charter, OAS was formed in order to achieve “an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence.” It is a regional entity similar to how the United Nations is a global one.

When Almagro was first elected Secretary General five years ago, he espoused the need for access to abortion:

“[T]he Americas continue to have some of the most restrictive laws regarding sexual and reproductive rights and freedoms [euphemism for abortion], and that reality has to change” [emphasis added].

This directly contradicts the OAS American Convention, not to mention the real healthcare needs of women.

This is why it was imperative Secretary Almagro declare his support for the OAS position on life. The secretary general’s role is to uphold the existing documents and principles, not project an agenda onto it.

Thankfully in March, Secretary Almagro committed publicly to upholding the American Convention and affirmed the right to life as set forth by OAS.

Though CWA International continues to work with Secretary Almagro to resolve some differences regarding defense of the family, we are excited he has made these pro-life declarations in a candidate forum prior to his reelection. We look forward to working alongside him to uphold OAS’s stance on protecting life from conception.

We join Secretary Pompeo in praising Secretary General Almagro’s promotion of freedom in the Americas and pushing back against the repressive socialist regimes of Venezuela, Nicaragua, and communist Cuba. We applaud him for also promising to protect the dignity and life of the unborn.

True freedom for all people.

 

CWA International: This Week in Washington, Support for Israel

By | International, News and Events, Support for Israel, Support for Israel | No Comments

Support for Israel 

AIPAC Policy Conference

CWA International had the privilege of attending AIPAC’s (American Israel Political Action Committee) Policy Conference this week in Washington, D.C., to learn and celebrate the American-Israel relationship. Echoed throughout the general sessions and breakouts was the need to protect the bipartisan nature of our relationship with Israel and the importance of fighting anti-Semitism—there was a clear undertone, vocalized explicitly by a few speakers, of the dangers of Bernie Sanders’ statements calling AIPAC bigoted and Israel racist. Comments that Dr. Shea Garrison rebutted last week.

CWA received an invitation to attend the conference as a result of our collaboration with AIPAC as we take on these issues both on the Hill and internationally. Thank you for joining with us in standing with Israel and against anti-Semitism.

Talking Points on President Trump’s Peace Plan

You’ve heard us talk about the President’s Peace to Prosperity plan proposing a starting point for negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, but now we have talking points to break it down for you. Shea has taken the time to clearly outline and articulate key components and contours of the plan. This way we can all understand it without having to read all 181 pages. Check it out here.

Election

Israel had another election this week, the third in less than a year. Incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin — Bibi — Netanyahu has won the most seats, but at the time of writing is still three seats short of the 61 seats needed to have a majority in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. It is believed Bibi will be able to increase his coalition in order to reach the 61-seat threshold and maintain his seat as Prime Minister—but this year has shown that nothing can be taken for granted.

“Peace to Prosperity”—Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan: What’s in it and how should I respond?

By | International, News and Events, Support for Israel | No Comments

CWA has as its seventh core issue Support for Israel. Dr. Shea Garrison, CWA’s Vice President for International Affairs, did an analysis of President Trump’s Middle East Peace to Prosperity plan. We encourage you to read her talking points, and as you gather to pray, please consider praying over each point I-IV as the Holy Spirit leads you. Pray also that Palestinian leadership will one day come to the table in good faith with a spirit of cooperation and peace. Israel’s security and wellbeing are always at stake, and the Palestinian people deserve a commitment from their leaders to work to create peace and prosperity for all.

Something Smells About Bernie’s Self-declared ‘Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestinian’ Platform

By | Blog, International, News and Events, Support for Israel | No Comments

Concerned Women for America’s Vice President of International Affairs, Dr. Shea Garrison wrote the following opinion article published in Town Hall:

Senator Bernie Sanders’ accusation of bigotry, aimed at the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, is ironic given that AIPAC is a bi-partisan group that supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, something that Bernie says he also supports.  Bernie also wants “an independent, democratic, economically viable” Palestinian state, the same objectives outlined in detail in President Donald Trump’s recent peace plan — yet Bernie has publicly rejected that, too.

Something smells about Bernie’s ongoing declaration that he is both “pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian.” He has digressed to the same modus operandi favored by the Palestinians — hurling racist accusations, refusing to engage — with the attitude that nothing is ever good enough.

When “Peace to Prosperity,” President Trump’s Middle East peace plan, was announced last month, the Palestinians escalated violent attacks, injuring and killing both Israelis and Palestinians. Refusing for months to even engage with the U.S., they rejected the plan before even seeing it. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank called it a deceptive plan, expanding Israeli settlements and promoting apartheid (another form of bigotry). Hamas in the Gaza Strip said that armed and united Palestinian resistance against the “occupying power” is the only way to confront the “dangerous deal.”

It is important to realize that this “dangerous” deal that incites violence in the Palestinians, and outright rejection from Senator Sanders, requires Israel to make a significant transfer of land for a new Palestinian state that is comparable in size to the pre-1967 territory of the West Bank and Gaza — something that Sanders says he wants. It also provides substantial opportunity for economic growth with a massive investment of $50 billion supported by new infrastructure.

The economic part of this plan (which makes up at least two-thirds) is particularly significant, as it hopes to empower and create stability among the Palestinians, breaking their cycle of terrorism, poverty, and reliance on foreign aid. Again, these are goals that Sanders has said that a peace plan must have. Estimates for potential economic growth from the investment is to double the (currently stagnate) Palestinian GDP in ten years with the creation of over one million new jobs, cutting the poverty rate in half.

Read the Entire Piece Here:

Historic Peace Proposal

By | News and Events, Support for Israel | No Comments

President Trump announced a historic new peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday. He did this alongside Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, after meeting with Netanyahu’s political rival for the position of PM, General Gantz. Both Netanyahu and Gantz committed to using this plan as the basis for future negotiations with the Palestinians.

Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” is the most detailed plan yet, professing to be more comprehensive and “realistic” than the Oslo Accords of the 1990s with the goal of safeguarding Israel’s security and bringing prosperity and opportunity to the Palestinians. This plan lays the groundwork for negotiations by diving into some of the most complex aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It aims not only “… to end the conflict, (but also) unlock the vast human potential and economic opportunity that peace will bring to Israelis, Palestinians and the region as a whole … given the realities on the ground and in the broader Middle East.”

Chief among these complexities are the suggested borders of a “realistic two-state solution” that gives the Palestinians self-governing authority but “not the powers to threaten Israel.” This is the first time Israel has agreed to tangible lines on a map as a starting point for negotiations in order to progress towards a two-state solution. A conceptual map of what a potential future state of Palestine might look like is included in the plan.

The plan centers on three initiatives to support the economy, people, and government of a “prosperous and vibrant Palestinian society”. However, there are preconditions the Palestinians must meet to be eligible for statehood. As a sign of good faith, Israel has agreed to a four-year freeze on settlements or development on land proposed to be part of a Palestinian state. This gives the Palestinians time to meet the requirements which include reforming their banking system, ending support for terrorism, building their infrastructure and civil society, and negotiating for peace.

The plan includes $50 billion in commercial investment in a future Palestine. This would cut the poverty rate of Palestinians in half which could also serve as a deterrent or alternative to terrorism with better options for the future. These investments would economically connect the Palestinians to the Israelis, as well as with the rest of the region and world. Economic ties disincentivize violence in conflict areas by creating a common interest.

Another historic milestone is support for the plan by Arab neighbors in the region. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are encouraging Palestinian leaders to use Peace to Prosperity as the starting point for negotiations. Ambassadors from Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE attended the announcement of the plan at the White House, reflecting how the tremendous importance of peace extends beyond the Israelis and Palestinians to the region.

It may be that current U.S. challenges with Iran ripened the timing of this plan. Iranian general Qassem Soleimani oversaw Iran’s control of Hamas and Hezbollah who operate and even run parts of the Palestinian territories. A peace plan, especially one supported by the Gulf States, diffuses and perhaps eliminates Iran’s reach into Gaza and the West Bank.

The President has taken decisive action in successive steps that curates an opening for peace. CWA International Affairs is assessing the historic plan and will look for ways to engage in its success. We ask that you pray with us for wisdom for the U.S. administration and for Israel, and that all parties seize this historic moment for the peace and prosperity of the Israelis, Palestinians, and the region.

 

White House Fact Sheet:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trumps-vision-peace-prosperity-brighter-future-israel-palestinian-people/

 

Full Plan:  https://whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Peace-to-Prosperity-0120.pdf

 

CWA Press Release: https://concernedwomen.org/cwalac-applauds-president-trumps-efforts-to-achieve-middle-east-peace/

 

CWALAC Applauds President Trump’s efforts to Achieve Middle East Peace

By | International, News and Events, Press Releases, Support for Israel, Support for Israel | No Comments

Washington, D.C. — Today President Trump announced his comprehensive plan “Peace to Prosperity” to secure Israeli and Palestinian peace. In attendance with Prime Minister Netanyahu and General Gantz, the leader of Israel’s Blue and White Party, were ambassadors from the U.A.E, Bahrain, and Oman. Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) had this to say:

“Thank you, President Trump, for your unwavering commitment of support for our friend and ally Israel and to building sustainable peace in the Middle East.

“It is our hope that this plan is a catalyst for a real and lasting peace that improves the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians. By bringing together partners within the Gulf states, we envision that a solution may be reached that is beneficial to both parties and supported by allies on both sides of the conflict.

“President Trump has secured the commitment of both Prime Minister Netanyahu and General Gantz to use this plan as the basis for any direct negotiations with the Palestinians. Regardless of the outcome of Israel’s historic March 2020 elections, Israel and the U.S. will continue to work towards peace.

“We hope the Palestinian leadership will come to the table in good faith. The Palestinian people deserve a commitment from their leaders to negotiate a deal that creates peace and prosperity for all.

“Thank you, President Trump, for once again upholding your promise to support Israel and peace in the Middle East with the release of this comprehensive plan. CWALAC looks forward to delving further into the details of ‘Peace to Prosperity’ to see how we might best engage on the path to success.”

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CWA staff with AIPAC staff for briefing

CWA LAC’s Actions on Iran and U.S. targeted killing of Soleimani

By | International, News and Events, Politics/National Sovereignty, Uncategorized | No Comments

Concerned Women for America has been busy these last eight days to keep you updated and your voice heard in the midst of the targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani and subsequent events. Here are highlights of the work we have done this week to cover this momentous event.

Talking Points

On Friday, January 3, we sent out briefing points to ensure you had a detailed explanation of the targeted killing of Soleimani and the context surrounding these events. Realizing this is a significant moment in history, we want to make sure you have real-time knowledge of what’s happening and what it means for the United States and your family.

Briefing:

CWA International hosted a briefing Tuesday, January 9, with The Heritage Foundation’s Senior Research Fellow on the Middle East, Jim Phillips, for our staff, state leaders, and supporters. Jim gave us an in-depth presentation on Soleimani, Iran’s threat to the United States, their low-intensity war of terror led by Soleimani, Iran’s history of aggression, the threat to Israel and the impact of the death of Soleimani on all of the above. Check out Jim’s article in the Daily Signal for some of his insights on the situation: “How US Strike Against Iranian General Changes Rules of Game in Iraq, Region.”

Hill Letter

CWALAC sent a letter to the House opposing Thursday’s vote on H. Con. Res. 83, the war powers resolution seeking to undermine the President’s ability to react in a timely manner to protect American personnel and facilities and downplay the immediacy of the threat presented by Soleimani. It is important to note a concurrent resolution, like this one, is non-binding—this bill is nothing more than a pseudo-press release by House Democrats. Unfortunately, this bill passed, largely along party lines 224-194, with eight Democrats opposing and three Republicans supporting. One of the Republicans supporting, Rep. Mat Gaetz (R-Florida), said he supported the strike on Soleimani but feels Congress should be consulted for any further action.

(Here is a great article on this resolution and the War Powers Authorization in context of recent events with Iran)

CWA Responds to the Killing of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani

By | International, National Sovereignty, News and Events | No Comments

A message from CEO and President Penny Nance:

Most likely, you have been following the U.S. military action taken against Iranian terrorist Qassem Suleimani but I wanted you to have specific talking points, history, and prayer points. This is a major foreign policy event that could have very serious implications for U.S. policy in everything from Energy to Defense.

Please pray for Secretary Pompeo, the President, and our military as they walk through what could become a crisis situation should it continue to escalate.  Remember, Iran is desperate, and its economy is in tatters due to U.S. sanctions. They are on the cusp of another revolution and to unite behind war with the “Great Satan” would suit the Ayatollah Khomeini just fine. Many experts hope that cooler heads will prevail. Much of this can be laid at the feet of the Obama Administration who had a policy of appeasement against the terrorist regime culminating with a $150 billion pay off.

I encourage you to look at news clips from when the Iranians stormed our embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979, and held them for 444 days until after President Reagan was inaugurated in January of 1981. President Trump was right to take this head-on. President Reagan’s policy of “peace through strength” is still true.

Click here to read CWA’s talking points on key information concerning the U.S. drone attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Suleimani.

Finally, below is the email I sent to Secretary Pompeo this morning.

Mr. Secretary,

CWA is 100% supportive of the President’s decision to retaliate against Soleimani and his murderous thug entourage. History has taught us that appeasement only emboldens terrorists and fascist dictators. We are calling on our members to cover you, President Trump, and our military leaders in prayer. We are also sending out talking points today to our entire list and planning a phone briefing with state leaders and supporters as early as Monday. I have been active on Twitter and will continue to give support.  Please let me know if there is anything else we can do. Mostly, I just wanted you and your team to know we have your backs both through prayer and action.

Garrison and Traficant: Anti-Semitism is on the Rise

By | International, News and Events, Religious Issues, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Concerned Women for America’s International Affairs team consisting of Dr. Shea Garrison and Ashley Traficant, published an article in The Hill showcasing how Anti-semitism is on the rise throughout the world.

Jeremy Corbyn, the soon-to-be former leader of the U.K.’s Labour Party, was defeated in a landslide election last week.

But while Corbyn announced his resignation and Labour lost dozens of seats, the anti-Semitism of his party remains endemic throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. Seventy-five years after the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is on the rise.

Tel Aviv University cites a 13 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks worldwide in 2018, with the U.S., U.K., France and Germany having the highest number of incidents.

According to a CNN survey, memories of the Holocaust are fading while anti-Semitic stereotypes flourish. Forty-four percent of Europeans think anti-Semitism is a growing problem. But 28 percent say it is a response to the actions of Israel, while 18 percent feel it is “a response to the everyday behavior of Jewish people,” meaning a sizeable portion of Europeans blame the victims of anti-Semitism for its increase.

German anti-Semitism commissioner Felix Klein has even warned that it may not be safe to wear a kippah (Jewish skullcap) in public in Germany. Germany has seen a 70 percent increase in violent acts against Jews since 2017, but not all instances of anti-Semitism are violent. Unaddressed resentment and hateful stereotypes can be precursors of violence.”

Read the Entire Piece in The Hill Here:

CWA Supports the Trump Administration’s stance on Israeli Settlements

By | International, News and Events, Press Releases | No Comments

 

CWA Supports the Trump Administration’s

stance on Israeli Settlements

 

Today Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the U.S. agrees with President Reagan’s administration that Israeli settlements are not inconsistent with international law.

Penny Nance, CEO and President, and Dr. Shea Garrison, Vice President of International Affairs for Concerned Women for America released this statement:

“We applaud Sec. Pompeo and the Trump administration for their right stance in declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem consistent with international law. The U.S. will no longer view Israeli settlements as illegal, cancelling a legal position adopted by the U.S. State Department in 1978 by the Carter administration. We stand with Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, who most closely shares our democratic values.”

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Ivanka Trump Is Right about Empowering Women

By | Feminist / Women's Issues, International, News and Events | No Comments

CWA’s Vice President for International Affairs, Shea Garrison writes an op-ed featured in National Review examining Ivanka Trump’s initiatives to cultivate women’s full economic potential.

“A  recent article in the Los Angeles Times criticizes Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump for working to empower women in the global economy. Trump, a 37-year old businesswoman and entrepreneur (with a degree from the Wharton School of Business), leads the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), the first comprehensive “all of government” initiative to help women and girls in developing countries overcome barriers to economic participation and maximize their potential.

Filled with uninformed condescension and sexist statements, the article questions Trump’s role as an advisor and a leader of U.S. development assistance. In actuality, the biased article fails to acknowledge that Ivanka Trump is the first leader within a U.S. administration to effectively focus on what she calls the “most underutilized resource” in the developing world — the power and genius of women. For those of us who have worked in the world of women’s economic empowerment and have seen the dynamic and lasting change it can bring to families and communities, her efforts in this arena are greatly appreciated.

In light of pervasive global poverty and income inequality, Trump’s desire to cultivate women’s full economic potential hits on two excellent points: First, that sustainable development uses a holistic approach to increase the capability and participation of all people in the community — instead of just focusing on the “end goal” of economic growth; and second, that development aid has historically included what Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen called the “extensive neglect of the interests and agency of women.””

Read Dr. Garrison’s Entire Piece Here in National Review:

How China ‘Is Home to the Worst Human Rights Crises of our Time’: It’s Why the US Commission on Unalienable Rights is so Necessary

By | International, News and Events, Religious Liberty, United Nations, United Nations | No Comments

United Nations headquarters in New York City, USA

CWA’s Dr. Shea Garrison, the organization’s Vice President of International Affairs, writes a new opinion piece featured this week in The Washington Times.

“The Trump administration led the fight for human rights at the U.N. General Assembly last week, calling out China for forced internment of more than 1 million Uighurs in “training camps” to be “re-educated” and “saved” from their culture, language and faith.

According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, China is the perpetrator of “the worst human rights crises of our time.” China denies this, touting itself a defender of human rights by providing “development, health, nutrition, and housing” — its own “approach” to human rights that has nothing to do with individual freedoms.

China’s approach is not surprising given that international human rights advocacy is so “watered down” by political agenda that it’s hard to tell the difference between protecting God-given natural rights and government entitlements.

To help rectify this, Mr. Pompeo recently announced the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights to ground U.S. foreign policy on human rights in America’s founding principles of individual dignity and freedom. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, as well as the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), are guides for the commission.”

Click to read the entire article here:

Click here for additional articles from Shea Garrison:

 

CWA Represents Your Voice at the United Nations General Assembly 2019: Religious Freedom, the Value of Family and Life, and Women’s Empowerment

By | International, News and Events, United Nations, United Nations | No Comments

Last week the 74th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) met in New York City.  President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo and HHS Secretary Azar gave magnificent speeches, including on the issues of religious freedom, the value of family and life, the importance of nationalism, and economic empowerment.

CWA was at UNGA representing your voice through the media, at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and with foreign delegations. Our CEO and President Penny Nance was honored to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as part of a small group of evangelical leaders, to discuss religious freedom in Egypt as well as the important issue of women’s rights and wellbeing.

The group thanked President el-Sisi for his work in Egypt to improve religious tolerance and equality for Christians, such as building Nativity of the Christ Cathedral (the largest cathedral in the region, and it is next to a mosque of equal size to symbolize tolerance and equality), rebuilding Christian churches demolished by the Muslim Brotherhood, and reforming religion textbooks for schools to increase tolerance and understanding between Muslims and Christians, as well as remove any extremist sections.

In addition, Penny thanked him for highlighting the necessity of education and training for women and girls in Egypt, as well as reducing barriers to their wellbeing such as domestic violence and harmful cultural practices.

President el-Sisi’s speech in March for this year’s Egyptian Women’s Day outlined seven points of engagement his administration plans to take on behalf of women. He has committed to address issues including women’s access to the marketplace, education, the problem of illegal underage marriage, gender-based violence and harassment, and to improve divorce laws so they do not put women and children in an “inadequate” situation.

CWA is grateful for increased leadership roles in Egypt for women; however, as women struggle for equal justice and opportunities in Egypt, there is still more work to be done.  President el-Sisi appointed the first two female governors ever in Egypt, the second one being a Christian. Manal Awad Mikhail is the first Christian woman in Egypt ever to be governor. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, appointed by Sisi in June 2018, has selected a historic number of eight women to his cabinet. There is also an effort to increase women’s position and rank in the judicial system with 16 female judges being promoted to higher level positions.

President el-Sisi has also strived to decrease female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C). While FGM/C has been illegal in Egypt for over 10 years, since 2008, it is still widely practiced. This is a stubborn cultural issue with over half of Egyptians, both men and women, in support of the practice. Egypt’s National Council of Women, religious leaders, Islamic scholars, and the government are working with President el-Sisi to delink FGM/C from religious practices saying it is religiously forbidden.

President el-Sisi made FGM/C a criminal act in 2016, going a step further than the 2008 law, prior to his coming to power, that made it illegal. His criminalizing FGM/C is a bold move on a sensitive issue with deep cultural roots.

The number of girls in Egypt undergoing FGM has declined some over the last 12-15 years, but the number who experience this harmful cultural practice is still shocking:

  1. The number decreased from 97% cut in 2005 to 92% in 2015 of ever-married women ages 15-49 (a woman qualifies as “ever-married” if she has been married at any time in her life, even if she currently is not married)
  2. There was more improvement in girls ages 0 to 17 , according to a secondary analysis (analysis of data already collected for a different purpose) of the data, with a drop from 69% in 2005 to 55% in 2015(14% decrease) of girls who go through or are likely to go through FGM/C before turning 18.

In his Egyptians Women’s Day speech, President el-Sisi acknowledged that underage marriage is an act of violence towards girls and hinders their education. The legal age of marriage in Egypt is 18; however, 22% of girls are married before 18, and 15% are married before the age of 16. Some of these are “temporary marriages” to visiting foreigners, mostly from the Gulf states. These temporary marriages are often a cover for prostitution.

CWA also thanked President el-Sisi for Egypt joining the U.S. and 19 other nations in a joint statement calling on the UN to stop using abortion-related terms in UN resolutions, negotiations, and other documents. Terms like “sexual reproductive health” (SRH) or “sexual reproductive rights” are ambiguous abortion-related terms which mask the promotion of legalized abortion.  Here is an excerpt from the joint statement read by Secretary Azar:

We believe that health of women, men, children and adolescents supports and improves the overall health of our families and communities, and that the family is the foundational institution of society and thus should be supported and strengthened…

We do not support references to ambiguous terms and expressions, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights in U.N. documents, because they can undermine the critical role of the family and promote practices, like abortion, in circumstances that do not enjoy international consensus and which can be misinterpreted by U.N. agencies.

Such terms do not adequately take into account the key role of the family in health and education, nor the sovereign right of nations to implement health policies according to their national context. There is no international right to an abortion and these terms should not be used to promote pro-abortion policies and measures.

CWA was glad to be your voice as Penny met with President el-Sisi of Egypt. She thanked him for his steps to increase opportunities and rights for women and girls, as well as religious freedom for Christians. We encouraged him to continue his progress on these issues and hope to be helpful in the future.

Dr. Shea Garrison presents on the Role of Women in Society, Economics, Peace, and Security

By | Family Issues, International, News and Events, Uncategorized | No Comments

Dr. Shea Garrison, CWA’s Vice President of International Affairs, was recently invited to Hungary to present at the Budapest Demographic Summit III, September 5-6. Hosted by the Hungarian government, the conference brought together leaders from all over the world to share their ideas and experiences in strengthening families and promoting effective family policies.

Among those presenting were Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs Katalin Novak, as well as other senior officials from Serbia, Australia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Brazil. Religious representatives included leaders from both Christian and Jewish congregations.

Dr. Garrison spoke about CWA’s commitment to both family and life and how research and practice demonstrate that women’s full and “meaningful” participation in other areas of society—such as within the economy and in peace and security processes—greatly contributes to stable societies, sustainable economic growth, and family development.  She was quoted as saying, “We believe the best way to preserve the family is to defend the sanctity of life, particularly the life of an unborn child. In addition, we value motherhood and strong, cohesive families. Women have a unique role in building strong societies that goes beyond the care and nurturing of a family.”

Dr. Garrison discussed two U.S. strategies–the Women’s Global and Development Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) and the U.S. Women, Peace, and Security Strategy (WPS)–as examples for how governments and civil organizations can support stronger families and communities by taking significant steps to ensure women’s full participation in all areas of society.

Other U.S. representatives included Valerie Huber, Senior Policy Advisor for the Office of Global Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Emilie Kao, Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, the Heritage Foundation.

Additional Photos of Dr. Garrison’s visit to Hungary:

Concerned Women for America Celebration Luncheon with Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo

By | International, News and Events, Press Releases, Religious Issues, Social / Cultural Issues, United Nations | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        CONTACT:   Toni DeLancey, Ph.D.
September 13, 2019                                                                                            [email protected]     202-527-3434

Washington, D.C. – For 40 years, Concerned Women for America (CWA), the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, has promoted Biblical values, constitutional principles and pro-women policies across America and around the world. As a part of CWA’s 40th year anniversary celebration, CWA’s founder Dr. Beverly LaHaye, CEO and President Penny Nance, and CWA’s Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Shea Garrison welcomed Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, who delivered a keynote address to CWA and its supporters during a luncheon at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“We are so pleased to have Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan with us today,” Penny Nance said. “CWA’s involvement in the International arena is increasingly significant and has intensified with our staff addition of Dr. Shea Garrison. Secretary Pompeo has approached his job in a way that demonstrates a shared vision with CWA and our founder, Mrs. Beverly LaHaye, to expand pro-woman and pro-liberty policies at home and Internationally.”

In his remarks, Secretary Pompeo discussed religious liberty as the first American freedom enshrined in the U.S. Constitution as an unalienable right for all people. He also discussed his experiences leading the U.S. Department of State to fight for that freedom as a U.S. foreign policy priority for millions of people around the world, including through the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom and the Commission on Unalienable Rights.

“Concerned Women for America’s work in the International arena is not new. With God’s guidance and direction, we made our first foray 23 years ago at the U.N. World Conference for Women in Beijing,” said Mrs. Beverly LaHaye. “Impacting international women for Christ’s work has always been a vision for CWA, and I am pleased and gratified at  how much progress CWA has made internationally under Penny’s leadership along with the expertise of Dr. Shea Garrison.”

CWA’s work internationally has focused on family and life, empowering women, and advocating for religious freedom around the world. To see more about CWA’s international department and its work, click here to see a video.

Read Secretary Pompeo’s Speech and Q and A With Penny Nance Here.

See the Speech and Q and A on Facebook Here (begins around 13:20).

See News Report from the Event from The Washington Examiner.

Groups Unite to Support the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights

By | International, Press Releases, Religious Liberty | No Comments

WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently announced the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights to ground U.S. foreign policy on human rights in America’s founding principles of individual dignity and freedom. A letter, signed by forty-six of the most influential human rights, women’s, and religious freedom organizations and leaders applauds Sec. Pompeo for his leadership in creating the Commission.

Concerned Women for America’s CEO and President, Penny Nance, and Vice President of International Affairs, Dr. Shea Garrison, had this to say:

“We applaud Secretary Pompeo for creating the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights. This is a significant moment in our history as we refocus U.S. foreign policy on the
principles of America’s founding—that all people are created with unalienable rights such as “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Many activists today promote their objectives as “human rights,” confusing government-given social and economic goals with God-given fundamental or unalienable rights. This
waters-down the essence of human rights, leading to less individual freedom, not more. Dilution of human rights takes the focus off of real victims of abuse and gives
authoritarian governments cover to promote economic or social benefits as fundamental human rights, all while oppressing religious liberty, censoring the press, or
imprisoning political dissidents.

But, when our fundamental or unalienable human rights are protected, we then have the freedom to advocate for our goals, ideologies, and political preferences.

We are grateful for Sec. Pompeo’s leadership in creating the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights. We believe the Commission can do more than secure unalienable rights and
remedy human rights abuse, it can reassert the right kind of American leadership in our world today.

The world is freer when America leads.”

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