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Another Scandal Brewing at the U.N.
August 3, 2005
by Carey Roberts

In a long-awaited decision, President Bush finally named tough-talking John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. And not a day too soon, as the U.N. General Assembly is set to reconvene in September.

The problems at the United Nations are legion: the Oil-for-Food scandal, the sexual escapades of the U.N. peacekeepers, the laughingstock that the Human Rights Commission has become, the U.N.'s utter failure to stem the AIDS epidemic, and many others.

But there's another scandal that people are trying to keep under wraps -- the fact that dozens of agencies and offices sprinkled throughout the vast U.N. bureaucracy have become base camps for ideological feminism.

Feminists view every human issue through the lens of gender and power. So whatever the problem -- poverty, disease, or a shortage of parking spaces - the standard refrain of the Sisterhood is "Down with the patriarchy!"

At the U.N., benign male-bashing has become distant memory. What now passes as normal feminist discourse at the United Nations ranges from outright gender prejudice to high-octane bigotry that resembles an Andrea Dworkin rant.

The bias begins at the top. At a 2003 International Women's Day observance, Louise Frechette issued this categorical imperative: "all our work for development -- from agriculture to health....must focus on the needs and priorities of women." But not men or children?

Ms. Frechette, by the way, is Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and reports directly to Kofi Annan.

Carol Bellamy, former UNICEF director, once made a similar plea for Africa: "Women are the lifeline of these southern African communities. They put the food on the table, and they're the ones that keep families going during such crises." As a consequence, according to the UNICEF press release, "Women and children must be at the center of response to Southern Africa's humanitarian crisis."

Last December the UNAIDS published its report, Women and AIDS. It is not possible to describe the gender vilification that oozes from this document, but suffice it say that it reads like a master's thesis from a Women's Studies program. The U.N. refugee program issued the following plea on its website: "The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees...One million women and children...homeless, hungry, helpless...Their only help is you."

Does that mean men are never homeless, hungry, and helpless? Or that their plight simply deserves less sympathy?

When it comes to domestic violence, the U.N. subjects men to the most pernicious stereotypes. It has been shown that women are fully the equal of men when it comes to partner aggression. But the WHO report Violence and Health dismisses that fact with this disingenuous remark: "Where violence by women occurs, it is more likely to be in the form of self-defense."

More disturbing is the casual way that the U.N. regards the lives of men.

In years past, the rallying cry for the World Health Organization was "Health for All." But now, the WHO's goals have become somewhat more modest: "Make Every Mother and Child Count."

Should we now conclude the lives of men no longer count?

One WHO report offers this explanation why women outlive men in countries around world: "as many societies have undergone economic and industrial development, a variety of social and cultural factors have combined to allow women's inherent biological advantage to emerge."

"Inherent biological advantage"? I thought a certain European war taught us a lesson about the evil that lurks when persons make claims about persons' inborn genetic advantages.

In 2000 the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution Number 1325 which makes the claim, never supported by hard numbers, that, "civilians, particularly women and children, account for the vast majority of those adversely affected by armed conflict."

Apparently the Security Council had forgotten about places like Srebrenica, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Cambodia, and elsewhere where millions of innocent civilian men were specifically targeted for elimination.

The UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights advocates that quality health care and essential medicines be provided "especially for the health of women."

So why not quality health care and essential medicines for men?

Ignoring the life-and-death needs of men, categorically blaming males for the woes of women, and claiming women are a biologically-superior species - these are the hallmarks of a morally-bankrupt organization that is destined to go the way of the League of Nations.

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