CFR Presents

Women Around the World

CFR experts analyze women’s advancement globally.

Improving Women’s Economic Participation in MENA Nations

by Alyssa Dougherty and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon Monday, February 27, 2017
A female employee is seen as she works at a petrol station in Cairo, Egypt, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany - RTS8CHW

The female labor force participation rate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the lowest in the world and has seen little improvement in the past four decades, despite evidence that equal access to jobs boosts GDP, contributes to long-term growth, and targets income inequality.

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Women Around the World: This Week

by Rachel Vogelstein Monday, February 27, 2017
Azerbaijan wife president Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban pose for photographers after a meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Welcome to “Women Around the World: This Week,” a series that highlights noteworthy news related to women and U.S. foreign policy. This week’s post, covering from February 20 to February 27, was compiled with support from Becky Allen, Anne Connell, and Alyssa Dougherty.

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Women Around the World: This Week

by Rachel Vogelstein Wednesday, February 22, 2017
White house trump trudeau women Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and leading female business executives take part in a roundtable discussion on the advancement of women entrepreneurs and business leaders at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Welcome to “Women Around the World: This Week,” a series that highlights noteworthy news related to women and U.S. foreign policy. This week’s post, covering from February 10 to February 20, was compiled with support from Anne Connell and Alyssa Dougherty.

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Japanese Companies Step Up to Support Working Mothers

by Becky Allen and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Aozora Bank managing executive officer Michiko Achilles (C) talks with her subordinates at the bank headquarter in Tokyo November 5, 2008. Achilles blasted through the "iron ceiling" that blocks many Japanese women's careers when she became a director at a bank this year, but an international survey shows her compatriots are falling behind. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN) - RTXAJKB

In a marked shift from Japan’s past, some companies are now supporting mothers by offering them increased responsibility and financial incentives to decrease maternity leave and return to work sooner.

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Women Are Critical to Counterterrorism

by Jamille Bigio and Rachel Vogelstein Wednesday, February 15, 2017
The first all-female unit of UN peacekeepers stand at attention as they arrive at Roberts International Airport outside Liberia's capital Monrovia January 30, 2007. The group of more than 100 police women from India will stay in Liberia for six months, helping to train the local police force. REUTERS/Christopher Herwig (LIBERIA) - RTR1LTD2

President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend refugee admissions to the United States and block the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries has been criticized as a violation of longstanding U.S. law and an abdication of fundamental American values. Although administration officials argue that the policy will help further American security interests, many experts believe it will do the opposite – handing extremists a powerful recruitment tool and alienating allies in the fight against terrorism.

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Women Around the World: This Week

by Rachel Vogelstein Friday, February 10, 2017
Russia putin women domestic violence A woman walks past the Church of the Nativity and the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin in the village of Velikoye, Yaroslavl region, Russia January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Welcome to “Women Around the World: This Week,” a series that highlights noteworthy news related to women and U.S. foreign policy. This week’s post, covering from February 6 to February 10, was compiled with support from Anne Connell, Alyssa Dougherty, and Loren Grier.

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Court Order Protects Women Refugees (For Now)

by Catherine Powell Friday, February 10, 2017
Ann Carey protests outside the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals courthouse in San Francisco, California February 7, 2017, while the Court hears arguments regarding President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries. REUTERS/Noah

As I’ve discussed previously, President Trump’s Executive Order (EO), “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” had particularly grave consequences for women refugees. Under the EO, all refugees were suspended from entering the United States for 120 days, which adversely affected women in particular. The EO also suspended all citizens from seven targeted countries—Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen —from entering the United States, and it banned refugees from Syria indefinitely. Women refugees often flee sexual violence and other persecution, and without refugee protection, women are often stranded in refugee or temporary settlement camps where they face a heightened risk of sexual and physical violence.

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Women Around the World: This Week

by Rachel Vogelstein Wednesday, February 8, 2017
greece turkey refugees trump ban muslim A young refugee girl carries a baby as she makes her way next to tents at a makeshift camp for refugees and migrants at the Greek-Macedonian border, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kostas Tsironis

Welcome to “Women Around the World: This Week,” a series that highlights noteworthy news related to women and U.S. foreign policy. This week’s post, covering from January 26 to February 6, was compiled with support from Becky Allen, Anne Connell, and Alyssa Dougherty.

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International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM

by Rachel Vogelstein Monday, February 6, 2017
Mariam Jallo, 11, (L), who wants to become an office worker, Bintu Kamara, 6, (C) who would like to become a lawyer, and Binta Jallo, 5, who wants to become a businesswoman, pose for a portrait in Koidu, eastern Sierra Leone, April 21, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Today, Feb. 6, 2017, marks International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital MutilationLearn more about the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting through these five publications from the Women and Foreign Policy program, and join the conversation on social media with @CFR_WFP to #EndFGM. Read more »

How Trump’s Executive Order Harms Women Refugees

by Catherine Powell Friday, February 3, 2017
Syrian women refugees collects water during International Women's Day at the al-Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

In the midst of the uproar over President Trump’s executive order (EO), entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” an important element missing from the debate is the disproportionate impact it will have on women. While the federal government provides limited data on women refugees, the State Department reported that in fiscal year 2016, over 72 percent of refugees resettled in the U.S. were women and children. The executive order, signed on January 27, 2017, suspends the Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days and bans all citizens from seven “countries of concern”—Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—from entering the United States for ninety days. The order also indefinitely suspends entry of Syrian refugees into the United States. Other observers have persuasively outlined the legal and ethical limitations of the EO and lawyers have successfully challenged aspects of the order in court.

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