U.S. Representative to U.N. Conference Summarizes How America Advances Women Worldwide

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Two of Concerned Women for America’s (CWA’s) experts are attending the 50th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), held February 27-March 10 at United Nations headquarters in New York. Wendy Wright, CWA’s President, will be directing efforts of the pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-family citizen lobbyists during the session’s second week. Miss Wright has attended and reported on U.N. conferences on women, population and cloning since 1997.

Dr. Janice Crouse, who heads CWA’s think tank, The Beverly LaHaye Institute, will report on and analyze the current CSW sessions. Dr. Crouse has particular expertise on emphases at this year’s CSW: violence against women, sex trafficking, Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), women’s empowerment, and women’s political participation. Her report follows.

United Nations Headquarters, New York City — On Wednesday afternoon, The Honorable Patricia P. Brister, U.S. Representative to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), addressed the plenary session of the 50th CSW to describe American efforts toward improving the lives of women around the world. Mrs. Brister cited programs and initiatives that are producing tangible results for women and children in terms of health and well-being, economic needs, protection, education, political involvement and opportunities for advancement.

Beginning with America’s leadership in the fight against human trafficking ($280 million spent to date in more than 120 countries) and ending with the $10 million Iraqi Women’s Democracy Initiative that provides skills training for Iraqi women, Mrs. Brister provided a long list of ways that the United States is helping women around the globe become full-fledged participants in society.

So much for the liberal accusation that conservatives don’t care about women’s issues!

Conservatives do care about women and women’s needs; we just don’t embrace the far left agenda that promotes abortion and seeks to mainstream lesbianism and hatred of men.

For instance, at the 2005 CSW, a resolution sponsored by the United States sought to end the demand for commercial sexual exploitation that fuels human trafficking. And, the U.S. ratified the “Palermo” protocol, an effort to end sex trafficking; the President calls it modern-day slavery.

Justice and Empowerment
Liberals talk a lot about “justice” and “empowerment.” The United States has put action behind the words to provide $55 million to African nations to improve legal rights for women. In addition, the U.S. works to end violence against women that takes the form of “honor” crimes (perpetuated against women whose behavior has dishonored the family), and abuse against displaced women.

Amazingly, the United States has committed $15 billion in AIDS relief in more than 120 countries (focusing especially on 15 African nations where the problem is especially acute) and devoting $500 million to combat transmission of HIV/AIDS from mother to child.

Economic Advancement
Many women who flee war-torn nations are left without protection and a means of livelihood. These refugee and displaced women need help through education, training and developing an understanding of basic legal rights. During 2003, the United States led 110 other nations in sponsoring efforts to facilitate women’s participation in political processes, providing opportunities for empowerment and advancement for women around the world.

Our nation has provided educational opportunities throughout Africa ? including $400 million to benefit 80 million children. In Afghanistan and Iraq, various initiatives are encouraging women to vote and develop the skills that they need to be involved in building democracy in those nations.

In short, the United States has a strong record of achievement in women’s well-being and in helping women to achieve their potential as individuals and citizen leaders. The phrase “gender equality,” as defined by the radicals, is meaningless without a commitment to meet the genuine needs of people who are concerned with getting pure water and basic medicines like aspirin and penicillin to their villages, rather than in establishing quotas for political gamesmanship or furthering Western imperialism.

If the American efforts that Mrs. Brister enumerated raise up populations of well-informed women throughout the world who can bring common sense and re-establish credibility for women’s involvement in political processes, then we can all breathe sighs of relief and look forward to brighter tomorrows for all nations.

Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse is representing Concerned Women for America at the United Nations’ 2006 Commission on the Status of Women. She was a U.S. delegate to the United Nations in 2003 for the Children’s Summit and in 2004 for the Commission on the Status of Women.

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