Women and Foreign Policy Program

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.

The program's current areas of focus include:

  • Improving maternal health in Afghanistan.
  • U.S. leadership in international reproductive health and family planning.
  • The role of technology and private sector resources in empowering women economically.
  • Entrepreneurs and market linkages in conflict and post-conflict environments.

Please see below for relevant publications:

How Women Are Transforming the Middle East

Speaker: Isobel Coleman
Presider: Richard N. Haass

In "Paradise Beneath Her Feet," Isobel Coleman shows how Muslim women and men are fighting back with progressive interpretations of Islam to support women's rights in a growing movement of Islamic feminism. Dr. Coleman argues that these efforts are critical to bridging the conflict between those championing reform and those seeking to oppress women in the name of religious tradition.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Women

The Global Glass Ceiling

Author: Isobel Coleman

It is time for multinational corporations to come to the same realization -- funding education and training female business leaders is good for business.

See more in Women

Leveraging New Technology for Women's Economic Empowerment: Understanding and Expanding Distribution Networks (Audio)

Speakers: Katherine Lucey, Carolyn Makinson, and Toshihiro Nakamura
Presider: Isobel Coleman

Listen to experts give examples of bringing technologies to developing countries and how distribution of these products works.

This session was part of The ExxonMobil Women and Development Roundtable Series which was made possible by the generous support of ExxonMobil.

See more in Women; Economic Development

Leveraging New Technology for Women's Economic Empowerment: Setting the Context: Challenges and Opportunities (Audio)

Speakers: Leslie Cordes, Gail Karlsson, and Richenda Van Leeuwen
Introductory Speaker: Lorie D. Jackson
Presider: Isobel Coleman

Listen to experts discuss energy challenges facing women in the developing world and how new technologies can improve conditions and save lives.

This session was part of The ExxonMobil Women and Development Roundtable Series which was made possible by the generous support of ExxonMobil.

See more in Women; Economic Development

Leveraging New Technology for Women's Economic Empowerment: Understanding and Expanding Distribution Networks

Speakers: Katherine Lucey, Carolyn Makinson, and Toshihiro Nakamura
Presider: Isobel Coleman

Watch experts give examples of bringing technologies to developing countries and how distribution of these products works.

This session was part of The ExxonMobil Women and Development Roundtable Series which was made possible by the generous support of ExxonMobil.

See more in Women; Economic Development

The Better Half

Author: Isobel Coleman

Efforts to provide the world's women with economic and political power are more than just a worthy moral crusade: they represent perhaps the best strategy for pursuing development and stability across the globe.

See more in Women; Economic Development; Global