Monday, December 1, 2008

Dear Secretary Clinton,

I'm so proud and glad that you have accepted President-Elect Obama's nomination to be the next Secretary of State. I know that your status on the world stage as well as your experience in government are the chief reasons you were nominated, but I'm also glad that President-Elect Obama nominated a woman, specifically you, for this position. There are few people who are more qualified.

Since you will now be heading up the foreign policy arm of the new Obama administration, however, I have a few requests. Well, one really: make women's rights around the world a top priority. I know that I don't have to tell you about the injustices experienced by women in all parts of the world -- women in Iran are not allowed the opportunity or means to get out of abusive marriages; women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed out of their homes unescorted by a man; women in various parts of Africa are still subject to forced female genital mutilation; rape rates around the world are appauling, as well as forced abortions in China, Southeast Asia and elsewhere. Sex trafficking is appauling the world over, especially in East and Southeast Asia and many former Soviet States.

A woman of your skill and prowess has the ability, nay the duty, to demand these atrocities (at the very least) be addressed. Because we all know, but for our privileged birth, we could have been thrust into those same conditions through no fault or will of our own. I know you care deeply about these things, as I do, as many feminists (and non-feminists) do, so this must be something that you champion as Secretary of State. I know that President-Elect Obama will support this, as he realizes that but for his own privileged birth his daughters could be forced into the same circumstances.

I certainly hope you have the opportunity to, for example, discuss women's rights with the heads of Iran when you go to talk to them about their aggression toward the United States. And I look forward to cheering you on as you do so.


1 comment:

Max Kuenkel said...

"women in Iran are not allowed the opportunity or means to get out of abusive marriages"

I recently watched a good movie about that called "Not without my Daughter":