The US removed ‘sexual health’ language from a UN anti-rape resolution, the latest example of America’s shifting global priorities

  • 4th May 2019
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The US removed ‘sexual health’ language from a UN anti-rape resolution, the latest example of America’s shifting global priorities

The United Nations Security Council meets at U.N. headquarters, April 23, 2019 in New York City. Member nations of the Security Council are considering a resolution concerning sexual violence in conflict, which would classify rape as a weapon of war.Image from article, with caption: The United Nations Security Council meets at U.N. headquarters, April 23, 2019 in New York City. Member nations of the Security Council are considering a resolution concerning sexual violence in conflict, which would classify rape as a weapon of war. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Excerpt:

  • The United Nations Security Council removed language on sexual and reproductive health from a resolution about rape as a weapon of war, after the United States threatened to veto it.
  • While the final resolution still signals progress in combating sexual violence, many in the Security Council expressed their alarm over the removal of such language.
  • The US’ efforts to diminish language related to sexual health, which some in the administration link to abortion, align with broad-sweeping efforts by the administration to thwart words and actions related to sexual and reproductive health and gender rights. …

“I think those who oppose women’s sexual reproductive health and rights are getting a lot savvier, and they have a lot more access than they did before. So, they’re able to influence a lot of these global processes that have impact on the ground,” Gayatri Patel, Director of Gender Advocacy at the humanitarian organization CARE, told INSIDER. “And so we are seeing it everywhere and anywhere and it’s become a full on battle; it’s not just little issues here and there, it’s really kind of a war.” …
Patel added that the US’s shifting stance is about much more than simply being anti-abortion; it’s about the rise of conservative ideology that is now manifesting itself in all facets of the government and that can have significant consequences.
“For us to now be dealing with a tangible pullback of some of the concepts and language, it has implications for US foreign policy through diplomacy, it has implications for programs, it has implications for public diplomacy [JB emphasis] that the US government does in communities that are affected,” she told INSIDER. “It has a chilling effect on organizations who do a lot of this work and see a lot of value in this work, and it’s just a really pernicious cycle that will hold women back from achieving their rights and being happy and healthy people.” …

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