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.
Freida Pinto and Isobel Coleman say that efforts like International Day of the Girl have helped girls make significant progress in recent years, but more resources, leadership and long-term commitments are still needed to close persistent gender gaps and improve the rights and well-being of millions of girls around the world.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon says Mitt Romney's major foreign policy speech on Monday reflects a vision for America's role in the world that is both far more forward-leaning than the current administration has exercised and far less energetic than Bush's.
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.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon says, though little attention will be paid to the war in Afghanistan on the campaign trail, Paul Ryan's views on the "forgotten war" have shifted more in line with Romney's these days.
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.
Isobel Coleman argues that the dissolution of parliament and the upholding of Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq's candidacy for presidency have immediately strengthened the hand of the "old guard" at the expense of the Islamists in Egypt.