“We believe strongly that supporting women and girls is essential to building democracy and security,” she said. – Clinton: U.S. will keep helping Afghan women
The fatigue in this country over Afghanistan runs wide and deep and for good reasons.
News that NATO has inadvertently killed Pres. Karzai’s cousin will undoubtedly cause further uproar inside the country where civilian deaths continue to climb.
On Sunday an Obama administration official, one obviously not as interested in human rights as women’s rights, revealed one side of the boys’ club mentality inside the White House fish bowl, through a Washington Post story that got absolutely no traction whatsoever, except around here. This “senior official” saying the U.S. couldn’t get caught continuing to help women, which was reduced to a ‘special interest and pet project”¦ pet rocks in our rucksack’ by the official.
Sect. Clinton responded, while not taking on the new developments in two USAID agencies, which has removed gender-equity provisions in U.S. Agency for International Development programs.
Clinton told a House panel that the U.S. commitment to Afghan women remains undiminished and that the United States is “currently providing more support than at any time in our government’s history” for education, health-care and political empowerment programs.
[…] Clinton spoke in response to a question from Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) about a Washington Post article on Sunday that described how specific requirements aimed at assisting women were stripped from two USAID programs in Afghanistan, one focused on land reform and the other on municipal governance. The article also quoted a senior U.S. government official as saying that “gender issues are going to have to take a back seat to other priorities.”
“This is, quite frankly, unacceptable,” Lowey said. “Any progress we’ve made in Afghanistan with regard to women’s rights will be quickly rolled back by the [Afghan] government and others if we do not continue to emphasize the importance of gender equality.”
Clinton’s fight to continue helping women and girls is a central tenet of her belief in diplomacy’s range, but also that it must be part of the foundation of U.S. foreign policy. On this no one is more committed.
Considering the comment leaked from a “senior official” of the Administration, as well as USAID’s move, there are others with power inside the Obama circle who do not share this belief in a war that’s dragging on and will take us 10 more years out.
It’s also not certain that if the American people were given the choice they’d agree with Clinton.
How long this policy will last if Sect. Clinton decides to leave State, which she has hinted will happen before Obama’s potential second term, is an issue as well.