Friday, February 22

American debate on race and gender surreal and so insular

Kavita Nandini Ramdas (president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, the world's largest foundation solely committed to advancing women's rights) writes in the Nation:

As a feminist whose daily work focuses on the challenges facing women outside the United States--particularly those living in poverty, in war zones and under extreme patriarchal control--I think these conversations have a surreal quality. They are surreal because they are so perfectly American in their insularity. What is alarmingly absent from our conversations and arguments, even as they allude to race and gender, is any sense of how our
decisions affect the well-being of people across the planet--not least the status of women, 51 percent of us, who are being treated with appalling brutality around the globe.

There is something profoundly wrong when a conversation about qualifications to be President of the most powerful nation in the world ignores the reality facing most of that world's inhabitants.......

Women in the developing world are not reassured when they see Madeleine Albright standing next to Hillary Clinton. They have not forgotten that this former Secretary of State, when questioned about the death of more than 500,000 children as a result of sanctions against Iraq, responded that the price had been worth it. Most would prefer a President tough enough to say that Iraqi children matter to her as much as American children and that she would use the awesome power of the presidency to ensure the safety and well-being of all the world's children.

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