The UFI team had a very successful experience at this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). We had eight university students and four faculty join us in visiting representatives from over 50 countries, as well as attending and reporting on side and parallel events that covered a wide range of topics – some good, many not so good. The theme this year was “challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.” The purpose of CSW, and every United Nations conference, commission, summit, and forum, is the creation of a consensus document upon which all member nations can agree. The agreed-upon document contains resolutions, which are then implemented by nations. Family-friendly nations are then bullied into implementing objectionable resolutions or risk losing financial aid.
Wait, what did we just agree to?
In order to achieve agreement, or “consensus,” language must be acceptable to all delegations. This ensures that the language used to draft resolutions will be purposely ambiguous and contain hidden meanings. For years, many pro-family nations were ignorant of the hidden meanings in the resolutions they agreed to. For instance, “reproductive health” is code for abortion. The current phrase of choice, “sexual and reproductive health and rights,” or SRHR, includes a whole slew of issues including contraception, abortion, sexuality education, sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual relations…you get the picture.
Terms and phrases also metamorphose with time. For instance, Sex Education becomes Comprehensive Sex Education, becomes Comprehensive Sexuality Education. Thus we go from teaching children about human bodies and the reproductive process to encouraging young people to explore and question their sexuality while instructing them regarding their sexual rights and the need to experiment, so as to learn for themselves what they find pleasurable.
Yes, they claim this is for the benefit of our children
So while CSW this year was ostensibly about the needs of rural women and girls, the same old issues of comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health and rights were front and center. One new term, which pro-family voices were able to resist, was “women and girls in all their diversity.” What could be wrong with that, right? It conjures up inclusive images of women and girls from around the globe – every race, ethnicity, religion, and culture. No one is left behind. And if that was all it meant, we could support the use of that language. However, we know that the meaning and intent of that phrase will morph to include transwomen, and protecting their rights at the expense of biological women. We’ve already seen how the rights of women are trampled when transwomen are recognized as fully female, whether it is men accessing women’s restrooms or shelters, or transgender athletes taking unfair advantage of female athletes in competitive events. Who would have ever dreamed that the hard-fought rights of women in society could be so abused to the benefit of male sex offenders and gender-dysphoric men?
You would think that in regards to the needs of rural women, policies that address needs such as easy access to clean water, sufficient food and a quality education would be front and center, but no. The real needs of rural women are best addressed by comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). At one event, Empowering Rural Women: Granting Universal Rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services, sponsored by Socialist International Women, one panelist remarked that “having babies prevents women from being politically active, which is the opposite of women’s empowerment” (tell that to UNHCR Special Envoy and mother of six, Angelina Jolie) and CSE is the solution. Because marketers of CSE make false claims regarding the efficacy of their programs, and because nations are pressured to provide CSE for their young people, UFI came equipped with information and resources for effective sexual risk avoidance (SRA) programs that include the parental involvement required for success in postponing sexual initiation among teens and sought after by pro-family nations. Our information was well received by these countries.
If you haven’t had a chance to meet the students we brought to CSW this year, head over to our Facebook page. (While you are there, please “like” us and follow us!) You can learn about them and what motivates them to advocate on behalf of the family. With these students, our future is in good hands.
The students we bring to the UN and the information and support we share with pro-family nations is part of our mission to: educate and inform others regarding the issues impacting the family; encourage and teach people to advocate on behalf of the family; and support policymakers as they work to protect and defend the family. We couldn’t do it without your support, and we thank you for it. We ask for your continued assistance as we work to inspire these future leaders and advocates.
Tori Black, President