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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-08-04

US Mission to the UN Concerned About Abortion in Beijing Platform

At the 48th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the US mission stated that it might not "reaffirm" the Beijing Platform because of the Bush Administration's concern about "abortion" language in the platform. Instead, the US mission will most likely state that the US "recalls and reiterates" the Beijing Platform.

Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey, who leads the U. delegation to the CSW, stated that she is "excited about the rights that women are getting in [Iraq and Afghanistan]" and that women's political participation "is a burning issue" for her. Although Sauerbrey stated that "the United States heavily invests in bringing women into the political equation in post-conflict areas, where their voices and vision are critical", the US-backed 25-member Iraqi Governing Council includes only three women.

In response to a Canadian NGO representative who said about women in North America, "if we impose [equal participation] on the oppressed, we should impose it on ourselves," Sauerbrey said that the US tradition "is equality of opportunity." She described her philosophy as "women need to be equally educated on how to run for office"

LEARN MORE Click here to read women's narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

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