Ethiopia has changed its law to expand the indications for legal abortion. While the global gag rule does not allow the U.S. to interfere in the sovereign affairs of another nation, the U.S. has nonetheless attempted to impose its own views on abortion on this government-led legal reform process.
PEPFAR includes a huge amount of money with a burdensome and ideological list of "do's" and "don'ts." Haven't we seen this before? Read this latest post in our International Women's Health Salon.
It is vital to show by deed as well as by word that the United States means to walk its talk on gender justice. This would go a long way in rebuilding the trust and goodwill that the past administration has squandered in the rest of the world.
Preaching from the US about sexual and reproductive rights is not productive. Our own house is not quite clean enough. So we really need to link our domestic policies and their enforcement with our moral voice abroad.
There are two particular questions I’ve been mulling over quite a bit lately. First, how much should the administration pressure foreign governments to reform anti-woman laws? And, should US policymakers, and the women’s movement, try to leverage concern over the environment to garner more support for reproductive health and women’s empowerment programs?
Is Adrienne Germain’s plan really a bold one? Only in the sense that the US is so far behind the curve on modern thought about gender, sexuality and reproduction that getting there with our current mindset is unthinkable. In this sense, it is a good plan for the 20th century, but I say let’s be really bold and move to the 21st.
We need to ensure that within our initiatives to assist various nations, we’re working with and funding local women’s organizations, talking to women and girls on the ground, and allowing them to maintain agency so that they’re not just being helped, but being heard.
In order to make real progress, there has to be a paradigm shift in our perception of sex and sexuality in the context of HIV. Money tied with restrictions that exclude many groups and limit access to services will only save to extend the lifeline of the epidemic.