Tag Archives: Women Rights

White House to Host Summit Focusing on Women and Girls of Color

By: Maya Rhodan @m_rhodan 3:46 PM ET

After taking heat for not addressing issues affecting women and girls of color, the White House will host a summit Friday on expanding opportunity for them.

Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and the White House Council on Women and Girls will host women who are experts on a range of subjects such as violence, workers rights, hip hop and health as it releases an update to the 2014 report “Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunities.”

Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Valerie Jarrett onstage at Grounded in History, Soaring into the Future: Rev. Joseph E. Lowery’s 94th Birthday Celebration at Delta flight Museum on October 6, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The summit will focus on a range of issues including economic development, healthcare, criminal justice, vulnerability to violence, hip-hop, and images of women in media. Participants include Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Tina Tchen of the White House Council on Women and Girls, Cecilia Muñoz of the White House Domestic Policy Council, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and Teresa Younger of the Ms. Foundation.

The Administration has found itself in an interesting position in President Obama’s second term. Though Obama was praised for taking steps to address problems facing boys and young men of color through his My Brother’s Keeper Program, the gendered focus made many girls and women’s advocates wondering about their issues.

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Take a Stand for the Girl Who Stood Up: Nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize

Please take a second and petition for Malala to win the Nobel Peace Prize Here

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Is the Arab Spring bad for Women?

Egyptian women shout political slogans during a demonstration to mark International Women’s Day in Cairo on March 8, 2012. Hundreds of women marched through the Egyptian capital demanding the right to co-draft the country’s new constitution. (Getty Images)

Here is what Fareed Zakaria had to say:

I think that overall the Arab Spring will be good for women. In the short run, however, the Arab Spring has opened the lid on a Pandora’s Box of problems, which have existed for decades, and are now being aired. Reactionary, illiberal forces that have been suppressed and repressed are coming to the fore. But I don’t think these forces will determine where the countries of the Arab Spring end up.

Take a look at a very rural, tribal society like Afghanistan, which does not have progressive attitudes toward women.  Nevertheless, the Taliban’s imposition of reactionary policies on women was very unpopular. Most men didn’t like it; most women didn’t like it.

Over time, Arab societies will find a way to accommodate new expressions of Islam with democracy and women’s empowerment. It’s not going to be on our time schedule, however. That’s the thing we really have to understand.

I was talking to Liberian peace activist and Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee about confronting female genital mutilation in Africa.  She argued that you have to work on changing the culture slowly. Change is not going to happen because Hillary Clinton makes a speech about it. These are deep-rooted practices.

Now, they are abhorrent practices and I would love to wave a magic wand and get rid of them, but we have to recognize that if we want these changes to be incorporated into the tradition of the country, we have to work on education and modernizing from the ground up. It’s frustrating but that’s the reality and that will be the reality for women’s rights in the Arab world.

It can’t be something that happens because it is decreed from on high – and certainly not from Washington. It is going to happen as these societies gradually modernize, which is happening, albeit more slowly than we would like.

 By Fareed Zakaria 
Source: CNN

 

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