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Council on Foreign Relations Women and Foreign Policy Update
November 2011

November 30, 2011

Dear Friends and Supporters,

On October 31, the world population reached 7 billion. This number brings into focus the critical importance of empowering women worldwide with access to voluntary and quality family planning services. Globally, over 215 million women have an unmet need for family planning. As argued in our CFR Working Paper Family Planning and U.S. Foreign Policy, this has a profound impact upon fertility rates and child and maternal mortality, especially for fragile states such as Afghanistan. Providing access to quality, voluntary family planning services is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve health and bolster global development and security goals. Isobel and I have written several pieces about the significance of this issue, and in particular, maternal health. Our most recent article on this subject, "Giving Birth to Progress," was published in Ms. Magazine's Fall 2011 edition.

In terms of programming this month, the Women and Foreign Policy program cohosted hosted a meeting with CFR's International Institutions and Global Governance program in Washington, DC with Undersecretary General and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet. Ms. Bachelet was joined by panelists Rosa Brooks, Carla Koppell, and Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, for a compelling discussion on why women matter in peacebuilding and how the U.S. and the international community can support women's involvement in peace processes worldwide.

We look forward to seeing you as we wrap up our 2011 programming, and we hope you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Warm regards,

Gayle

 

Recent Publications

Afghan Women Are Not "Pet Rocks"

In this ForeignPolicy.com piece, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon writes that the diminished focus on women's rights in Afghanistan is far different "from the situation of a decade ago when leaders across Washington fanned out before the cameras to speak about the importance of supporting Afghan women." Read more »

Princess Tweets for Saudi Women: Ameerah Al-Taweel

In this piece for Newsweek Magazine, Lemmon interviews Ameerah Al-Taweel on why Saudi Arabia's women won't accept a reversal on equal rights. Read more »

Giving Birth to Progress

In an article for Ms. Magazine, Isobel Coleman and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon argue that U.S. investments in midwifery programs in Afghanistan meet U.S. Abassador Ryan Crocker's stated goal of "sustainable stability" and allow the United States to keep its promises of bring a "responsible end" to the war in Afghanistan.

The Egyptian Military Digs In

Egyptians are increasingly uneasy about when and whether the military willl actually hand over power. With Egypt scheduled to begin parliamentary elections at the end of November, the transition to a civilian government still seems distant, writes Coleman. Read more »

An AIDS-free Generation

Coleman argues that the economic, and scientific obstacles to an AIDS-free generation are clear. However, if various stakeholders rally behind this laudable goal, they could rewrite the previously bleak economic futures of communities devastated by AIDS around the world, but particularly in Africa. Read more »

Pervez Musharraf and Pakistanís Economy

Coleman discusses President Musharraf's on the record conversation at the Council on Foreign Relations on the Af-Pak war, Pakistan's economy, and its urgent need to address energy challenges and broader infrastructure issues. Read More Ľ Read more »

Pervez Musharraf and Pakistanís Economy

Coleman discusses President Musharraf's on the record conversation at the Council on Foreign Relations on the Af-Pak war, Pakistan's economy, and its urgent need to address energy challenges and broader infrastructure issues. Read More Ľ Read more »

 

In The News

Priorities in U.S.-Pakistan Relations: In this interview with Coleman, Pakistani human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir discusses U.S.-Pakistan relations and the fragility of the Pakistani democracy. (CFR.org - video)

Why Women Matter in Peacebuildilng: At this on the record CFR meeting, Lemmon speaks with Michelle Bachelet about the role of women in peacebuilding processes around the world. (CFR.org - video)

Election Results in Tunisia a Cause for Concern?: In this interview on FOXNews.com's DEFCON3 with KT MCfarland, Coleman discusses whether the election victory by the Islamist party in Tunisia is cause for concern. (Fox News - video)

Council on Foreign Relations/Foreign Affairs Back to School Event: Coleman joins college and graduate students for an interactive discussion on Iran during the unveiling of CFR's Crisis Guide: Iran, as part of CFR's annual Back-to-School Event. (CFR.org - video)

 

Recent Events

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

Monday, November 14

Roundtable Meeting: Why Women Matter in Peacebuilding

with Speakers: Michelle Bachelet, Undersecretary General and Executive Director, UN Women, Carla Koppell, Senior Coordinator, Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, USAID, Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, Standby Team of Senior Mediation Advisers, United Nations (2011-2012) and Cofounder, International Civil Society Action Network, Rosa Brooks, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and Former Special Coordinator for Rule of Law and Humanitarian Policy, U.S. Department of DefensePresiders: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow and Deputy Director of Women and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations, Stewart M. Patrick, Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, Council on Foreign Relations

Meeting Transcript:

Monday, November 14

Roundtable Meeting: Taking Stock of Conflicts in Colombia, Liberia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan: Women, War & Peace

with Speaker: Abigail E. Disney, Cocreator, Women, War & Peace and Founder, Daphne FoundationPresiders: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations, Stewart M. Patrick, Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, Council on Foreign Relations

Audio and Video: Taking Stock of Conflicts in Colombia, Liberia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan: Women, War & Peace

 

 

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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