Women are not publishing in academia at the same rate as men, nor are they reaching top levels of leadership in equal numbers. The Fletcher Forum focuses attention on this frustrating truth by dedicating this journal volume solely to the work of eminent women in international affairs.
Women and Security
In this address, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright calls for a continued focus on women’s empowerment as she describes the crucial intersection of women and security.
A Conversation with Cynthia Enloe on Curiosity, Confidence, and Feminist Questions
In this interview with The Fletcher Forum, Cynthia Enloe reflects on the changing associations of the term “feminist,” as well as what has, and has not, changed for women inside of academia throughout the years. She highlights the importance of asking questions and remaining curious as well as the central need for a gender-smart analytical lens on issues foreign and domestic. Enloe also lends her opinion on the ‘confidence gap’ debate on gender differences in the workplace, pushing the reader to critically consider how we define ‘confidence.’
Women, Entrepreneurship, and Diplomacy: An Interview with Sigríđur Snævarr
In this interview, Sigríđur Snævarr, the first woman appointed ambassador to the Icelandic Foreign Service, pulls from her experience on using diplomacy at home to revitalize the Icelandic workforce after the financial crisis to discuss the multi-faceted aspects of modern diplomacy. Reflecting on her own experiences, she offers advice for the next generation of diplomats.
Teach Your Children Well
Barbara K. Bodine
Remarks on the occasion of the Annual Academic Convocation, The FletcherSchool of Law and Diplomacy. Delivered September 6, 2013.
Reflections on a Six-Year Tenure as UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography
Najat Maalla M’jid
In this perspectives piece, Najat Maalla M’jid contemplates the mission of the United Nations to protect children around the globe from prostitution, sexual exploitation, and trafficking—an escalating transnational phenomenon. M’jiddiscusses the UN’s achievements to this end, such as the Convention on theRights of the Child, but underscores the various challenges ahead in seeking toeradicate such practices in today’s globalized and highly digitized world.
Fighting for Gender Equality: Why Security Sector Actors Must Combat Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
While often perceived as a source of, or contributor, to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), military and other security sector organizations constitute central actors in the prevention of SGBV. This article explores the gender equality dimensions of peace and security based on this assumption, examining current efforts to combat SGBV, NATO-specific initiatives to address and prevent SGBV, and challenges in raising the profile of SGBV threats. Arguing that SGBV constitutes a security threat akin to terrorism, piracy or weapons proliferation, the article concludes with concrete recommendations for military organizations and their partners working towards the elimination of SGBV.
Negotiating the Great Game: Ending the U.S. Intervention in Afghanistan
Jamie Lynn De Coster
Focusing analysis narrowly on the United States and the Taliban alone, this article aims to examine how the United States reached the current point in the Afghan conflict by: identifying the key inflection points in the evolving U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and its implications on ending the Taliban-led insurgency; showing the contributions of both the U.S.-led civilian-military resource “surge” and counterinsurgency strategy in setting the conditions for a negotiated political settlement; examining why the conflict has frustrated international negotiation efforts to-date; and addressing the question of whether or not opportunities currently exist to cultivate conditions for a sustainable peace agreement before the end of 2014.
Women and the Rule of Law: A View from the Americas
Roberta S. Jacobson
Reflecting on a career dedicated to the Americas, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson directs the reader to consider the remaining security concerns of women and girls in Latin American and Caribbean countries despite progress in consolidating democracy and the rule of law across the region. Assistant Secretary Jacobson urges greater focus on female inclusion in policy processes, particularly within the security sector, in order to guarantee a safer future for all.
How Mexican Cartels Are Changing the Face of Immigration
In examining recent trends in Mexico-U.S. immigration, Sylvia Longmire concludes that the drug war in Mexico is shifting the primary motivation for immigration to the United States from one of seeking economic opportunity to escape from fear. Citing examples of cartel manipulation of the immigration process, Longmire argues that tackling cartels, and the broader drug war, is key to reversing this trend.
Lead and Let Lead: Empowering Courage in International Conflict Missions
The archetypal international civil servant, an individual with a lifetime of service to a single organization, is increasingly being replaced by ‘roving professionals.’ Amidst this growing transience among the staff of international organizations, the mid-level managers with direct, daily impact on program goals and outcomes are often overlooked as leaders and change-makers. In this article, Cornelia Schneider proposes strategies through which these critical individuals can be better trained and supported in order to allow international organizations to reach their potential.
Persistent Gender Inequality in the World of Work
Jeni Klugman, Henriette Kolb, and Matthew Morton
Today, many more girls are going to school and living longer, healthier lives than thirty or even ten years ago. Yet this has not translated sufficiently into broader gains in economic opportunities for women. This article highlights key insights from a new World Bank publication, “Gender at Work,” which finds sizeable, persistent gender gaps at work around the world. The authors also explore the emerging solutions, including leveling the playing field through government policies, emphasizing a lifecycle approach to policy actions, and promoting proactive private sector leadership to address the global jobs challenge.
Analyzing Women’s Empowerment: Microfinance and Garment Labor in Bangladesh
This article explores two different paradigms: women’s empowerment through the microfinance industry, and women’s empowerment through the garment labor workforce. Author Lamia Karim uses the case of Bangladesh to provide a powerful illustration for the benefits of the garment sector, and cautions against claims of development gains and female empowerment achieved through microfinance.
Energy Efficiency and Working Conditions in Vietnamese Apparel Factories
Rebecca Drejet and Ann Rappaport
Further exploring labor and development issues in the context of the apparel industry, Rebecca Drejet and Ann Rappaport focus their analysis on the relationship between energy efficiency and working conditions, a significant aspect of sustainability. The article analyzes data from the Better Work program on apparel factories in Vietnam, and finds compelling evidence that factories that spend less on electricity per unit of output have better working conditions for their employees. The authors bring to a light a nuanced dimension of sustainability in relation to working conditions.
Working with Women: An Essential Component of Global Food Security and Agricultural Development
Anna Applefield and Jiwon Jun
In this article, authors Anna Applefield and Jiwon Jun highlight the role of women in addressing food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa. They argue that women’s unequal access to resources has hindered agricultural development in the region and discuss the myriad benefits that would come with financial, educational, and technical assistance for women.