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Council on Foreign Relations Women and Foreign Policy Update
November 30, 2012

Innovations for Development

Increasing Access to Insurance for the Poor

CFR Senior Fellow Isobel Coleman profiles the efforts of innovators, such as MicroEnsure, that are working to provide small, affordable levels of insurance for the poor, particularly women, helping them better manage financial risk and move out of poverty. Read the Post on Democracy and Development »

Afghan Progress Through Broadband Investment

Job creation is a powerful engine for peace and stability in Afghanistan. Guest blogger Tae Yoo of Cisco writes about the company's work with public sector partners to teach information and communications technology skills to an underutilized segment of Afghanistan's workforce: women. Read the Post on the Development Channel »

Entrepreneurs Bring Peace to Afghanistan

CFR Fellow Gayle Tzemach Lemmon explores the unique role women are playing in Afghanistan's tech revolution despite facing societal disapproval, family pressure, and even threats of violence. Read the Post on Democracy and Development »

Pursuing Justice and Human Rights

Bibi Aisha's Rebuilds Her Life in the U.S.

One year later, Lemmon publishes an update in the Daily Beast on the case of Bibi Aisha, the young girl whose Taliban-connected in-laws cut off her nose and ears in a barbaric act of retribution for her "crime" of fleeing years of abuse. Read the Full Article Read the Full Article »

U.S. Reelected to UN Human Rights Council

In the wake of the U.S. reelection to the UN Human Rights Council, Ryan Kaminski, the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) Leo Nevas Human Rights Fellow, argues that the Obama administration should use this leverage to follow up on issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) human rights and the empowerment of women and girls. Read the Post on The Internationalist »

Family Planning Is a Right, Not a Privilege

Underpinning the State of the World Population 2012 report is a paradigm shift in how the world conceptualizes and articulates the issue of family planning, argues CFR Research Associate Emma Welch—family planning is now more than a privilege, it is a "fundamental human right." Read the Post on Politics, Power, and Preventative Action »

The Paradox of Property Rights and Economic Development

Worldwide, economic development can occur even when marginalized groups, especially women and ethnic minorities, face high property insecurity and vulnerability, argues CFR Fellow Terra Lawson-Remer. This significant development challenge can exacerbate disparities between the rich and the poor and intensify food insecurity and resource scarcity—even while bringing macroeconomic growth. Read the Post on the Development Channel »

Women: An Economic Growth Engine

More Women Means More Business

CFR Research Associate Stephanie Leutert argues that having more Latin American women in the workplace isn't just an issue of equity—it's also good for business. In the past decade, Latin American women's increased workforce participation and higher earnings have been responsible for 30 percent of the region's extreme poverty reduction. Read the Post on Latin America‚Äôs Moment »

Gender and Energy

The Biggest Energy Problem That Rarely Makes Headlines

Building the energy economy of the twenty-first century is not just about going from dirty fuels to cleaner, sustainable ones, writes CFR Fellow for Energy and National Security Blake Clayton on It is also about making the advances of the last two centuries available to many of the world's poorest people, the have-nots of the energy world—especially women. Read the Post »


2013–2014 Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship Program

CFR is seeking applicants for the 2013–2014 Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship Program. Qualified candidates must be junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, or predoctoral candidates who are working on a nuclear security-related issue. Click here for more information on the program and application instructions. Applications are due December 14, 2012.


CFR's Women and Foreign Policy program works with leading scholars to analyze how elevating the status of women and girls advances U.S. foreign policy objectives and to bring the status of women into the mainstream foreign policy debate. Among its areas of focus are global health and education, the role of women in peacekeeping, and women’s economic participation.

Rachel Vogelstein
Director and Senior Fellow, Women and
Foreign Policy Program

Catherine Powell
Fellow, Women and
Foreign Policy Program

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Senior Fellow, Women and
Foreign Policy Program

Hannah Chartoff
Research Associate, Women and
Foreign Policy Program

Valerie Wirtschafter
Research Associate, Women and
Foreign Policy Program


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