Sign Our Letter to Susan Rice, U.S. National Security Advisor Designee
Dear UN Ambassador Rice:
It’s no secret that U.S. foreign policy frequently favors military options over diplomacy. The problem with this mindset is that women, children and communities often end up as collateral damage.
While your record of governmental service reflects U.S. foreign policy, when you assume the position of National Security Advisor in July, you will have an opportunity to shift the mindset in Washington to one that favors peace and human rights first, with women in decision making roles. It’s a strategy that women-led organizations we support use to achieve equality, justice and safety in their communities.
Take a page from former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s playbook. She put women and girls at the top of her agenda right from the start and integrated it into her daily work. Her legacy is enshrined in the Office of Global Women’s Issues*, affiliated with the working group on international gender issues you will chair in your new role.
Now that you will have the ear of the President and foreign policy leaders in the administration and Congress, we urge you to put these three policy actions at the top of your “to do” list:
• Open the debate on the Patriot Act, which gives sweeping surveillance powers to the President and Executive branch in the name of the war on terror. In reality, it has put innocent activists and advocates, including some of the women-led organizations we support in danger.** Why? Because many of these groups are labeled "trouble makers" or "radicals" in their own countries for defending human rights.
• Pass the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) as it would provide funds for prevention and response work on violence against women outside the U.S.
• Finally ratify The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Without ratification, how can the U.S. be taken seriously when pressuring other countries to improve their women's rights records?
With escalating conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and now Turkey, getting the U.S. on board in these three areas could not only begin to shift the mindset, it could transform nations. Don’t disappoint, the world is watching.
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