Feminists have cooked up a new plan to raid the U.S. Treasury for more feminist pork. They want Congress to pass the International Violence Against Women Act.
They are using a report issued in October by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called "In-Depth Study on All Forms of Violence Against Women." The report is said to be based on interviews with 24,000 women conducted by the World Health Organization.
Who better to introduce the act than Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., the leading advocate of ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women? Biden never saw a U.N. treaty or a radical feminist spending bill that he didn't like.
The WHO report asserts that one in three of the world's women, in some countries as many as 70 percent, experience violence in their lifetime, usually from their own partner, which is the rationale for calling it domestic violence. I'm surprised feminists don't claim 100 percent, because "violence" is broadly defined to include nonphysical "psychological and economic" actions.
Biden says the "statistics are appalling." Indeed they are. But it doesn't follow that the solution is the U.N. "In-Depth" report's demand for "consultation with women's groups" with "adequate funding streams" to develop "international standards" for all nations.
A new feminist front group called the Women's Edge Coalition is partnering with Amnesty International U.S. to lobby for congressional passage of International Violence Against Women Act, which would create millions of dollars of feminist pork. The act's stated mission is to carry out a campaign of policy advocacy and education, consulting with dozens of U.S organizations, grass-roots organizing, and working with strategic media partners (i.e., getting the media to do their propagandizing).
You can bet that a primary purpose of International Violence Against Women Act money will be to lobby the U.S. Senate for ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women so that its U.N. monitoring committee can force U.S. compliance with feminist goals. That agenda includes everything from requiring unlimited abortion rights to rewriting schoolbooks to eliminate so-called "stereotypes" and gender-specific references.
Our senators are taunted with the assertion that the United States should be embarrassed because 185 countries have ratified the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, while the United States has not. I'm glad the Senate so far has had the good sense to reject a treaty that fraudulently makes naive people believe it will improve the lot of U.S. women.
Pakistan has ratified the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. That's the country where a tribal council ordered a young woman gang-raped to avenge her brother's crime of being seen with an unchaperoned woman from another tribe. Gang rape is common in Pakistan.
Nigeria has ratified the convention. That's a country where women are stoned to death for the crime of adultery. Islamic law, called shariah, calls for death to women who commit adultery, but a lesser punishment for adulterous men.
Saudi Arabia has ratified the convention. That's the country where 14 girls died inside a Mecca school that went up in flames. Religious police kept rescuers from entering the building because some of the girls were not wearing their head coverings.
Colombia has ratified the convention. That's a country where thousands of women a year are sold into sex slavery. Similar outrages take place in India, Nepal and Thailand, which have also ratified the convention.
All these countries are eligible to sit on the convention's monitoring committee of 23 "experts" who monitor "progress" and order compliance. All U.N. projects to improve the lot of women follow the feminist model: Break up the family, force women into the work force, and send kids to day care.
The International Violence Against Women Act is based on the lie that violence against women is the same problem in all countries. Many non-Western countries have social norms that justify abuse (such as genital mutilation, forced marriage, and polygamy), and "international standards" would vastly diminish the rights and benefits U.S. women now enjoy.
U.S. women are the most privileged class of people on the face of the earth. That's because we are the beneficiaries of the Judeo-Christian civilization, including the requirement in the Ten Commandments to honor mothers and the Christian religion that honors the Virgin Mary and respects women.
Mark Steyn presents a good idea in his new book called "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It" (Regnery, $28). Because the majority of women in European battered women's shelters are Muslim, he suggests that a serious push for women's rights in the Islamic world could destabilize Islamic regimes such as Iran.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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