UN Women, an agency of the United Nations created last year to promote the advancement of women, has spent the year hard at work getting schools in the United States on board with programs that fail to make progress against serious mistreatment of women but instead focus on a liberal social agenda. They advocate not economic empowerment, but sexual “rights,” including prostitution, abortion and the condemnation of marriage and the family.
This past spring, at the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a worldwide curriculum for comprehensive sex education was proposed that calls for legalization of prostitution and advocacy of same-sex marriage, and classifies abortion as a human right. The curriculum also regards marriage as a “relationship often entered into out of social, religious or economic pressures,” and disregards the connection between marriage and parenthood. While genuine oppression does occur against many women around the world, especially in Muslim countries, the commission fails to address these concerns, and rather degrades women further by suggesting that only sex education issues are of pertinence.
This new education policy contains, according to the National Education Association’s Diane Schneider, who spoke at CSW, education on masturbation and orgasms as the only way to “combat gender conformity” among the world’s youngest students.
Such a curriculum, tied to UN Women’s goal of identifying women primarily through their sexuality and fertility, advances a radically liberal social agenda with no regard for contradicting values of women worldwide. In nations where mothers want to expand their families to include more children, UN Women looks to decrease fertility through administering birth control as a means of population control. The UN’s Commission on Population and Development explains that in such areas where larger families are desired, family planning services are only one measure used to lower fertility and have to be “buttressed by other strategies to change norms concerning the number of children desired.”
UN Women has sent proponents of its secular liberal agenda to the homes of this country’s most impressionable future leaders: college campuses. Executive Director Michelle Bachelet has visited numerous schools this year alone, including UC Berkeley and Hunter College in New York City, to gather support for her organization. She recently taught a series of seminars on democracy and women’s rights for Berkeley’s Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS), and was described by the chair of CLAS as someone who “reflects the values of UC Berkeley.” Undergraduate Emily Tsitrian looked forward to hearing from Bachelet on “[her] place in this increasingly globalized world” as a woman, and assistant professor Mark Healey commented that Bachelet’s advice focused on fighting the “inequalities that come with globalization.”
Aside from misleading students, UN Women targets university faculty as potential followers and advocates. Getting universities on board and securing funding for UN Women is vital to putting its beliefs into practice with programs in the U.S. and abroad.
At the University of Pennsylvania, Bachelet spoke before the fifth meeting of the Global Colloquium of University Presidents, which included presidents from Columbia, Yale, New York University and Princeton. Bachelet pleaded for universities to “continue to support the groundbreaking research that UN Women can promote in countries worldwide.” She also said that UN Women wants “to link up [its] research and policy unit with key research faculty in the universities,” and told administrators that members “have the power to open doors, to make changes happen for women and girls.”
Other colleges that leaders of UN Women, past and present, have visited to promote feminist policies include Wellesley College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and John Jay College of New York City. The UN National Conference was held at North Carolina State University on June 11, where UN Women pushed for increased birth control abroad and sexual liberalization in the U.S.
The influence of groups like UN Women on the minds of university faculty and students can have a profound effect on conservative college students when their teachings trickle down into the classroom. Fighting a radical feminist agenda on campus can be done with the help of Young America’s Foundation, through which students can host conservative women speakers to counter the leftists brought in by organizations such as UN Women. Kate Obenshain, Andrea Tantaros and Michelle Easton are all foundation lecturers who speak out on the failures of feminism. As the Left continues to target campus audiences, it is clear that young conservative activists on college campuses are a key element in defeating radical policies such as those advocated by UN Women.