U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated the American government’s commitment in upholding women’s welfare.
“Three major foreign policy initiatives illustrate our commitment,” Clinton said during the 54th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. “These initiatives amount to more than an assortment of programs designed with women in mind. They reflect a fundamental shift in U.S. policy, one that is taking place in offices across Washington and in our embassies around the globe.”
For one, the U.S. government’s USD63 billion global health initiative seeks to decrease maternal and child mortality as well as increase access to family planning services.
“We are focusing first on those people whose health has the biggest impact on families and communities – women and girls,” Clinton stressed.
The U.S. global health initiative also aims to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS, a disease that “has now become a woman’s disease, passed from men to women and too often, to children,” she added.
Aside from health care, the U.S. government, Clinton said, is also working to help farmers, mostly women, boost their incomes and food production through its USD3.5 billion global food security program.
“Most of the world’s food is grown, harvested, stored, and prepared by women, often in extremely difficult conditions,” she said. “Giving these women the tools and the training to grow more food and the opportunity to get that food to a market where it can be sold will have a transformative impact on their lives and it will grow the economies of so many countries.
The U.S. also recognizes the gender dimension of climate change and is collaborating with other nations to raise USD100 billion each year by 2020 to assist the developing world in dealing with the adverse effects of global warming, according to Clinton.
“The effects of climate change will be felt by us all, but women in developing countries will be particularly hard hit, because as all of the changes of weather go on to produce more drought conditions and more storms and more floods, the women will have to work even harder to produce food and walk even farther to find water safe for drinking,” she said.