Sunday, April 18, 2010

A short-range solution to a long-range problem?

That's about what this looks like to me:

And at a time of seeming partisan dysfunction in Washington, a groundbreaking, bipartisan International Violence Against Women Act, or I-VAWA, was introduced in both the Senate and the House in early February. The bill comprehensively addresses, for the first time, violence against women and girls through all relevant U.S. foreign policy efforts, including its international assistance programs. U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, is the lead Republican sponsor in the House, working across the aisle with Rep. Bill Delahunt, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and many others. 
I would surely not claim that doing nothing is better, but this seems to me to be putting a bandage on a cancerous lesion. The disrespect of women in the countries spoken of in this piece is a deep-seated cultural phenomenon that has been nurtured for centuries, and I just don't see any kind of American "foreign policy effort" changing this. I know air-dropping 1911s in might not work right off the bat, but it'd be something to ponder down the road, after embarking on an effort to teach these women that they don't have to be subjugated anymore. We still haven't gotten that message imparted to women in our own country some 45 years after the feminist movement got underway. You'd think that would give government officials a clue as to how big of a task it would be in other countries.