To assess a recent Afghan law limiting the rights of Afghan women, we must follow the lead of women in Afghanistan.
Since we’ve been discussing the role of the United States in fostering women’s sexual and reproductive rights worldwide, I’m curious as to what others think the US should do about the new Shia Personal Status law in Afghanistan.
A constructive approach would set standards for how we talk about – and act on — on population and environment issues: taking care not to overstate the role of population growth and ensuring scrupulous attention to human rights in discourse, communications, advocacy and programs.
Our first priority should be ensuring that the United States spends scarce resources in the most effective and efficient manner.
I suspect that after several years in retreat, the debate about overpopulation is about to come roaring back.
Last night at the UN the US expressed strong commitment to the ICPD Program of Action and the Millennium Development Goals.
Part of equal sharing of responsibilities means establishing standards for compensation and other forms of support and recognition for women’s work, especially in the caretaking context.
It would be great to build a consensus within the UN or the State Department to transform or update the Peace Corp program, but instead of “promoting peace,” the mandate would be “social change” or whatever characterization is most compelling.
We could build on existing structures, and channel additional human energy through them; they are already set up to select skilled people and match them to need.
One way the US — by way of the White House — can retake a leadership role in promoting international family planning and women’s health is to build a small army of Social Change Volunteers who would be a modern version of Peace Corp volunteers.