...the fate of women today is falling into the hands of fundamentalist and out of those of the countless women who gave their lives in hard-fought battles for women's rights, reproductive choice, equality in the workplace, and the recognition of the legitimacy of our intellect. A chilling image that personifies this movement is that of a smiling George W. Bush, surrounded by 9 smiling white male politicians and flanked by American flags, as the president signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.....
...One rational fellow, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, sees reality quite clearly and objectively:There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. No other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, or to reduce infant and maternal mortality. No other policy is as sure to improve nutrition and promote health -- including the prevention of HIV/AIDS. No other policy is as powerful in increasing the chances of education for the next generation. And I would also venture that no policy is more important in preventing conflict, or in achieving reconciliation after a conflict has ended.
While the U.S. puts more money toward fighting AIDS than any other country, it throws more than half of it to ineffective programs promoting abstinence, and shuns effective programs that promote condom use and prevent needle sharing.