[saymaListserv] NYTimes.com Article: Bush vs. Women

freepolazzo at mindspring.com freepolazzo at mindspring.com
Fri Aug 16 08:17:10 JEST 2002

This article from NYTimes.com 
has been sent to you by freepolazzo at mindspring.com.

Hi Folks,

It seems that women and women's values are still not as important as men and men's values.  

For those Friends who still wonder why partiarchy must be opposed, the following article may help with that understanding.

Peace and Blessings,

Free Polazzo
Anneewakee Creek Friends Worship Group
Douglasville, GA

freepolazzo at mindspring.com

Bush vs. Women

August 16, 2002


The central moral struggle of the 19th century concerned
slavery, and that of the 20th pitted democracy against
Nazism, Communism and other despotic isms. Our own
pre-eminent moral challenge will be to ease the brutality
that kills and maims girls and women across much of Africa
and Asia. 

Alas, this summer President Bush is putting the U.S. on the
wrong side of the battle lines. 

Most outrageous, last month Mr. Bush cut off all $34
million in funds for the United Nations Population Fund, in
all 142 countries in which it operates, because of concerns
about its role in China. What does this mean on the ground?

An emergency obstetric care program was to begin this year
in Burundi, where only one-quarter of births are attended
by a trained midwife (almost none by a doctor) and where
one woman in eight will die in childbirth. 

Because of Mr. Bush's move, however, that program in
Burundi has now been canceled - along with plans for
midwife training in Algeria, a center to fight AIDS in
Haiti and a maternal mortality reduction program in India. 

Conservatives are right to object to China's often brutal
one-child policy. But only Washington could come up with a
solution to Chinese problems that involves killing teenage
girls in Burundi. 

Aside from cutting off funding for the population agency,
the Bush administration is busy devastating third-world
women in other ways. It is trying to block a landmark
international treaty on the rights of women, even though
the State Department initially backed it. The treaty, known
as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women, or Cedaw, would make no
difference in America but would be one more tool to help
women in countries where discrimination means death. 

The Bush administration is also undercutting international
efforts to use conferences to bolster support for rural
health care for poor women. For example, the Bushies tied
up negotiations for this month's Earth Summit in
Johannesburg by insisting that documents be purged of
phrases like "reproductive health services" that they think
connote abortion. 

President Bush has also walloped international family
planning efforts by banning the use of American aid to
overseas organizations that provide any information about
abortions. And while Mr. Bush basked in his promise of $500
million for the global AIDS fund, his administration is
making such onerous demands of the fund that none of the
money can be used anytime soon. 

In one crucial field, the battle against sexual
trafficking, it is conservative Christians who have taken
the lead in fighting on behalf of third-world women. So on
this one issue has Mr. Bush shown any mettle? 

No. As a reproachful letter to him from a broad range of
conservative leaders pointed out on June 28, the
administration record "is one of passive acceptance of the
world trafficking status quo." 

In the Bush administration, the assumption is that in all
these cases the fundamental issue is abortions or sex. It
is not. 

The central issue is that 500,000 women die each year in
pregnancy or childbirth; that 100 million women and girls
worldwide are "missing" because they are denied adequate
food or medical care, or because they are aborted or killed
at birth because they are female; that 60 percent of the
children kept out of elementary school are girls; that 130
million girls have undergone genital mutilation; that
between one and two million girls and women are trafficked
into prostitution annually. 

If I'm angry, it's because those figures conjure real faces
of people I've met: Aisha Idris, a Sudanese peasant left
incontinent after giving birth at 14, with no midwife or
prenatal care, to a stillborn child; Mariam Karega, a young
woman nursing her dying baby in a Tanzanian village far
from any doctor; Sriy, a smart and vibrant 13-year-old
Cambodian girl who was sold into prostitution by her
stepfather and by now is probably dead of AIDS. 

Instead of joining the fight on behalf of Ms. Idris, Ms.
Karega or Sriy, the Bush administration is allying the U.S.
with the likes of Iran, Sudan and Syria to frustrate
international efforts to save the lives of some of the most
helpless people on earth. Somehow we have become the core
of an Axis of Medieval. 


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