On September 24, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the Equal Futures Partnership of the United States, along with twelve other founding members (Australia, Benin, Bangladesh, Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Jordan, the Netherlands, Peru, Senegal, and Tunisia; as well as the European Union). The program seeks to break down barriers to women's political and economic participation.
Isobel Coleman writes about the mixed record that quotas for women's political participation in the Middle East have had, but notes that at least quotas ensure that women's perspectives are represented in government.
Isobel Coleman argues that the rise of Islamist groups in North Africa may threaten women's rights, but women's participation in the economy and in political movements has set them down a path that will be difficult to reverse.
Economic growth stimulated by small and medium-sized enterprises can foster stability in fragile states. Comprehensive approaches that offer entrepreneurs access to finance, markets, networks, and skills should be offered.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon says a battle is on to keep Afghan women from falling off the political agenda while Washington and its NATO allies seek a diplomatic solution to America's longest-ever war, and the fight becomes more urgent as the NATO summit in Chicago approaches.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »