Just when we thought President Obama had reached the ultimate in seizing extravagant power by appointing a Health Care Czar (Donald Berwick) to exercise life-and-death surveillance over Medicare and Medicaid, Congress is now trying to give him a czar with global powers. It would be a czar over worldwide women's issues.
Based in the State Department, her statutory title will be "Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues." Her task will be to assure a "gender integration" perspective in all State Department policies and programs.
The breath-taking reach of her powers is openly stated in the bill's first section: "The Ambassador shall coordinate and advise, and where relevant lead -- (1) State Department activities and policies, including as they affect programs and funding relating to prevention and response, including gender integration and women's development internationally as relates to prevention and response."
And if that's not enough, the feminist ambassador will also be responsible for the "allocation of State Department resources" to carry out the mischief.
Reinforcing her ukases will be a "Women's Development Adviser" with a desk in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). This is the same federal agency that sent millions to a radical feminist group in India called Women Power Connect, which used U.S. taxpayers' money to lobby for a 33 percent female quota in the Indian Parliament.
The vehicle for this latest pandering to the feminist left is the International Violence Against Women Act called I-VAWA (S.2982 and H.R.4594). The lead sponsors are Sens. John Kerry and Barbara Boxer.
The bill broadly defines violence against women to include nonviolent "psychological harm," "intimidation at work," and "psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the government of the country in which the victim is a resident." Naturally, lots of taxpayers' money will be needed for so awesome a task, so the bill authorizes $1 billion over five years.
The global reach of this new czar's activities opens the door for Obama's feminist constituency to dictate to other countries. The bill calls for a "comprehensive, five-year international strategy to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls internationally" and to set up "gender-integrated, comprehensive and holistic" plans in 20 countries.
This new feminist gestapo will support the "development and enforcement of civil and criminal legal and judicial sanctions, protections, trainings and capacity." And there's more: The bill authorizes U.S. money to be spent to develop "programs affecting social norms, community attitudes, and male and female participation in violence and response to victims."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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