Why Does Bush Hate Women?

Common Dreams reports that Bush is AWOL as 250 world leaders reaffirm women's rights:

With the notable exception of U.S. President George W. Bush, more than 250 global leaders, including former President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, reaffirmed their commitment to a ten-year-old UN plan to ensure the rights of women around the world.

In an unprecedented statement, the former and current leaders, including 85 heads of state and government, also called for the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adopted by the UN in 2000, that call for greater efforts to sharply reduce global poverty and achieve universal access to education and health by the year 2015. […]

The targets included universal access to family planning, safe motherhood, treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as HIV/AIDS, basic education and greater opportunities for social and economic advancement.

But the Bush administration, which has cut off funding of UNFPA and repeatedly voiced reservations about the ICPD’s commitment to sexual and reproductive rights, declined to sign on to the statement. […]

The United States, which helped draft and strongly supported the Cairo plan of action, as well as the UN women s conference in Beijing in 1995, abruptly changed course after Bush became president six years later.

It has not only refused to spend over US$70 million in contributions approved by Congress to UNFPA, but has also sought to weaken international support for the ICPD and the Beijing “platform of action” by lobbying “so far, unsuccessfully” other countries to back its efforts to exclude references to sexual and reproductive health services in regional conferences in Latin America and Asia.

Last spring, senior officials even threatened to withhold U.S. contributions to other UN and private agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children s Fund (UNICEF), if they failed to break their links to UNFPA, despite its active role in the global fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS. […]

As one of his first acts in office, Bush also reinstated the so-called “global gag rule” first decreed by former President Ronald Reagan.

Under it, foreign family planning agencies may not receive any U.S. foreign aid if they provide any abortion-related services, including counseling or referrals on abortion, or even lobbying to relax anti-abortion laws in their own country, even if they use their own money for that purpose.

Some U.S. lawmakers and a number of feminist groups have accused the administration of waging a “war against women” in its international population policies.

That’s Furious George for you – winning hearts and minds one victim at a time.

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