Anne-Marie Slaughter on Leveraging Gender Equality

Slaughter:    One subject that never gets talked about when we talk about foreign policy is the way in which the United States can leverage our own empowerment of women and our understanding of the vital role that women, women’s health, women’s education, women’s leadership plays in a healthy and productive economy.  We tend to look at, you know, development and education of women as a soft issue, a peripheral issue, an issue that is not really about, you know, core foreign policy issues, and yet if you look at the productivity increases in our own society.  If you look at the ideas in our own society, the growth in many ways in our own society over the past four decades, a huge amount of that has come from liberating 50% of the population.  And if we would focus on that as part of the story we tell, as part of what an open society is, we would, not only be being true to our own values, but we would be illustrating a development path that development experts know is the most effective way of a spurring development dollar for dollar.  The dollars invested in women’s education have a huge multiplier effect in women’s health.  So, I think the President ought to be talking about women’s education globally, women’s rights globally, not as a kind of interest group cause, but as something that we have learned from our own experience is the path to increase prosperity, increase values better society.

Anne-Marie Slaughter says gender issues are one of America’s greatest strengths.

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