Biden’s White House staff is falling into place, and Cabinet members are being announced: Antony Blinken will be Biden’s secretary of state; Linda Thomas-Greenfield will become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; Michèle Flournoy will be secretary of defense; John Kerry will focus on climate change; Alejandro Mayorkas has been nominated secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; Avril Haines has been nominated for director of national intelligence; and Jake Sullivan will be the national security adviser.
In the rubble of what’s left of American commitments to international organizations, one survivor is doing well. The United Nations Population Fund, or UNFPA, the perennial target of Republican politicians and presidents since the 1980s, is thriving.
Reports of domestic violence are rising as COVID-19 races across the planet and people are ordered to stay home.
In a plea to all nations, UN Secretary-General Guterres said on April 5: “For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest. In their own homes. I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19.”
The two sessions of the Global Equality Forum that had been planned for Mexico City in May and Paris in July will be postponed until next year.
This year was intended to be a celebratory time for women: the 25th anniversary of the momentous Beijing conference on women’s rights and how to advance them. It isn’t working out that way, however, as a global health crisis and disagreements among advocates for women rewrite the script.