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Council on Foreign Relations Women and Foreign Policy Update
October 2011

October 26, 2011

Dear Friends and Supporters,

This month marked the tenth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. Since 2001, many gains have been made in the country, particularly in the area of women’s rights. The Nobel Committee embraced the role of women in building peace and preventing conflict by awarding the world’s most prestigious prize for the preservation of peace to three female leaders: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman. This is a major step for women worldwide and refocuses attention on the significance of UN Security Resolution 1325, which eleven years ago declared that women must be given a central role in peacekeeping and peacebuilding, both as agents and beneficiaries. Be sure to read both pieces Isobel and I have written about the critical role that women can and should play in peacebuilding and democratization, found below.

In addition, the PBS documentary series Women, War & Peace was released this month, chronicling the role of women and peacekeeping in conflict zones including Afghanistan, Liberia, Colombia, and Bosnia. We hosted a screening and discussion of the films this month at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, featuring co-creators Abigail Disney, Pamela Hogan, and Gini Reticker and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee.

This month also saw the fall of dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi. Women have been a major part of leading the fight for change in Libya and many are now watching to see what role women will play in the formation of their new government. Read Isobel Coleman's thoughts in a CNN.com opinion piece, where she argues that a stable, prosperous Libya undergoing a process of democratization will enhance the chance of successful transitions in neighboring countries such as Tunisia and Egypt.

We look forward to seeing you as our fall programming continues and thank you for your continued support of the Women and Foreign Policy program.

Best regards,

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program

 

Recent Publications

Why Libya Has a Real Shot at Democracy and Stability

In this piece for CNN.com, Isobel Coleman argues that a stable, prosperous Libya undergoing a process of democratization will enhance the chance of successful transitions in neighboring countries such as Tunisia and Egypt. Read more »

Looming Threat to Afghan Women's Rights

With the United States eager to withdraw from Afghanistan and reconciliation with the Taliban considered crucial to any peace process, Afghan women's rights are once again in question, writes Gayle Tzemach Lemmon in this CFR Expert Brief. Read more »

Peace Prize Triumph for Women's Rights

In awarding the prize to three female activists, the Nobel committee is honoring the fact that women's full participation in society is essential to peace, says Coleman. Read more »

Women of the World Unite

In this article for the Daily Beast, Lemmon says that the Nobel Peace Prize committee's acknowledgment of the role of women in peacemaking should bolster the cause of women in Afghanistan who are struggling for democracy. Read more »

Tunisia’s Upcoming Elections

On her CFR blog, "Democracy and Development," Coleman writes that while Tunisians feel justifiably proud in their political progress, there is nevertheless considerable tension and pessimism in the lead-up to this symbolic election. Read more »

 

In The News

Mobile's Role in Women's Development: In this interview with Coleman, Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, discusses the significance of the gender gap in access to mobile technology. (CFR.org - video)

Life as a Woman in Afghanistan, Ten Years After the U.S. Invasion: Lemmon discusses how women in Afghanistan have fared in the ten years since the U.S. invasion, and how they will likely fare once U.S. troops withdraw in 2014. (PRI - audio and transcript)  

What Qaddafi's Death Means for Libya: Coleman explains the significance of Qaddafi's death and what it means for Libya and the region. (WOR Radio New York - audio)

Women and Political Change: At the World Bank's Open Forum on Gender, Lemmon speaks about the critical role of women in political change and economic development in conflict and postconflict societies. (World Bank - video)

Saudi Arabia and Women's Right to Vote: Watch Lemmon on NBC Nightly News discussing the relationship between Saudi women gaining the right to vote and the Arab Spring. (NBC News - video)

 

Recent Events

The following meetings were spsonsored by the Women and Foreign Policy program.

Wednesday, October 5

Roundtable Meeting: Women and Mobile: A Global Opportunity

with Speakers: Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Maura O'Neill, Senior Counselor to the Administrator and Chief Innovation Officer, USAID, Trina DasGupta, mWomen Program Director, GSMAPresider: Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations

Meeting Transcript: Women and Mobile: A Global Opportunity

Monday, October 17

Roundtable Meeting: Conflict, Gender, and Civic Participation in Afghanistan

with Speaker: Samantha Leader, Former Regional Program Manager and Chief Technical Adviser, United Nations Centre for Human Settlement (UN-HABITAT)Presider: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations

Meeting Audio: Conflict, Gender, and Civic Participation in Afghanistan

Tuesday, October 18

Roundtable Meeting: Women, War & Peace

with Speakers: Abigail E. Disney, Co-creator, Women, War & Peace, Pamela Hogan, Co-creator, Women, War & Peace, Gini Reticker, Co-creator, Women, War & Peace, Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Executive Director, Women Peace and Security Network–Africa (WIPSEN)Presider: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations

Meeting Audio: Women, War & Peace

Wednesday, October 19

Roundtable Meeting: Human Trafficking: A Conversation with Civil Courage Prize Winners Lydia Cacho Ribeiro and Triveni Acharya

with Speakers: Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, Founder and Director, Refuge Center for Abused Women; Author of Slaves of Power: A Journey to the Heart of World Sex Trafficking of Women, Triveni Acharya, President, Rescue FoundationPresider: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations

Meeting Audio: Human Trafficking: A Conversation with Civil Courage Prize Winners Lydia Cacho Ribeiro and Triveni Acharya

Thursday, October 20

Roundtable Meeting: Winning the War for Talent: A Conversation with Sylvia Ann Hewlett

with Speaker: Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Founding President, Center for Work-Life Policy and Director, Gender and Policy Program at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia UniversityPresider: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations

 

 

The Women and Foreign Policy program is a major component of CFR's Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative. The objective of the Women and Foreign Policy program is to bring the status of women firmly into the mainstream foreign policy debate. Thanks in part to its efforts, there is now broad understanding of the importance of women's empowerment to a host of development, health, security, and other global priorities.

Isobel Coleman
Senior Fellow and Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program and Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative

Ashley Harden
Research Associate, Women and Foreign Policy Program

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Fellow and Deputy Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program

 

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