Line of the Day: Fem IR and Hillary

“We have our own work to do at home,” Verveer told me. “We trivialize the importance too often of these issues: the ‘women’s issue’ — you put it in quotes, that little category over there, the box you check. What we have to do is realize these are the issues; if we want societies to prosper and if we want our own security, we have to raise the status of women.”

Women’s issues are being framed by this administration in terms of realpolitik: U.S. security depends on women’s empowerment. Global economic growth depends on women’s participation.

Women’s empowerment won’t be delivered at the end of a gun or through economic sanctions or even overt criticism, if it cuts into accepted cultural practices. This is messy stuff; some of our most sensitive allies have horrific records on women’s rights. Programs that show success tend to be slow-moving and incremental. Can all this complexity attract — much less sustain — the attention of the public?

Maybe — if we stop viewing everything Clinton does as entertainment.

From the NYT, here.

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