Article Reveals Bush Connections to Independent Women’s Forum
An article in today’s Washington Post exposes what feminists have long known – the connections between the George W. Bush administration and the far-right Independent Women’s Forum (IWF). IWF’s founding members include the wives of prominent right-wing politicians including Lynne Cheney, wife of Dick Cheney; Wendy Lee Gramm, wife of Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX); and Barbara Olson, wife of Ted Olson, Bush’s choice for Solicitor General. Its funders include the right-wing foundations Scaife, Bradley, and Olin. Its purpose was to be the counterpoint to feminist groups, providing a female face for the far-right, anti-women’s rights agenda. Many IWF members have been appointed or confirmed to the highest levels of the Bush administration, and appointees who are not IWF members are being briefed at IWF headquarters on gender issues before their confirmation hearings take place. IWF opposes Title IX (which prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs), the Violence Against Women Act, comparable pay efforts, affirmative action programs, and gay and lesbian marriage and parenting.
IWF members among Bush administration appointees and nominees include Labor Secretary Elaine Chao – wife of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – Linda Chavez, Paula Dobriansky, and Eileen O’Connor. Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an IWF economic adviser, is Bush’s chief staff for White House Council of Economic Advisers; she argues that the wage gap between women and men is due to women’s different “choice of occupation,” among other factors – despite strong evidence that women are segregated into low-paying occupations. Sally Satel, IWF’s science adviser, is reportedly interviewing for a position in the Department of Health and Human Services. Satel has criticized the HHS offices for civil rights and women’s health. Finally, Bush has appointed Wade Horn, head of the National Fatherhood Initiative and former IWF advisory board member, to head the HHS Department for Family Support.
Media Resources: Washington Post - May 1, 2001 and Feminist Majority Foundation Daily News – January 12, 2001, July 26, 2001 and June 18, 1997
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .