Biden Administration, Middle East North Africa, Megan discussed on The President's Inbox


This injustice helps explain why before the online metoo movement could offer both anonymity and strength in numbers so few women were willing to come forward to name but was plainly happening. All around us so delivering justice for survivors requires a functioning and balanced legal system. One that protects certainly the rights of accused but then also protects the rights of survivors and is free from discrimination and stereotypes about women and as a first step we recommend that governments need to ensure that adequate legal protections are in place in every country three years into this movement an astounding fifty countries. Still have no prohibitions on sexual harassment in the workplace and even where there are laws prohibiting sexual abuse on the books too often. they're written in a way that prevents justice for women so the us has an important role to play through diplomacy with foreign assistance programs in working to change some of those laws around the world. Megan are there any specific policy changes. It will be high on your to do list. And you like to see the biden administration tackle. I like to always say that. All activists know a key question in policy is. Show me the money you know. It's essentially an unfunded mandate right if we if we say who ray for girls and women they deserve to have equal rights and we don't actually then change how we deliver international assistance right now. Less than one penny of every dollar of global foreign assistance goes to women's organizations organizations working on women's rights which seems perilously low considering. We're talking about half the population. There's been a big move to actually start to change how. Us aid funds. This kind of work. A lot of resources right now. Go through really large contractors. You know. there's been a big push to try to change that so that more local leader driven organizations use the women that are in the community. They know the context trusted. They're not going anywhere when a contract dry up they're going to be there there for the long haul there. A great bet the best bang for the buck is to really invest in these women yet. We don't do it you know. And so that's gonna require some reform. And i would just say in terms of countries that i write about in the middle east north africa region. You know when. I think about the regime in egypt or even you know. Recently we had high level officials in dc from the kingdom of saudi arabia. You know we haven't really done enough as americans to try to link some of our military assistance and other aid to human rights issues particularly around women's rights rate. So you know maybe we need to have some tougher conversations and really think about some some conditionality of aid to make sure that for example women in saudi arabia that were advocating for the right to drive art jailed and tortured as was alleged in the case of jane. Hathloul or like we write about in the book. Egypt activists like mohsin hasan continued to be on travel ban. You know her assets were frozen and she was actually officially charged with the irresponsible attempt to liberate women. This is literally a formal charge that was entered against her. Lo and behold the biden administration continues to give substantial aid to the cc resume. So there's a place here to negotiate. We don't pretend that there aren't other geopolitical concerns that are obviously critical importance with both of those countries that i just talked about. But there's certainly some space to start to change how we do business and try to put women's rights more into the.

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