In adopting a feminist foreign policy, Mexico joins conversations on gender equality that are usually monopolized by wealthy nations in Scandinavia and Western Europe. Yet Mexico’s track record of promoting women in politics domestically means it belongs in that rarefied club—and puts to shame the so-called advanced democracies that have fallen behind.
“Human history has been driven by the male drive for physical security.”
Ms. had the chance to speak with Valerie Hudson, director of the Program on Women, Peace and Security at Texas A&M University. In the new book The First Political Order, which she coauthored, Hudson makes a compelling argument for placing women’s rights and representation at the core of foreign policy and national security—because what happens to half the population is obviously going to affect the health, the wealth and the security of a nation.
As Mexico launches a feminist foreign policy, it’s worth considering what such an approach would look like in the U.S.
Many consider political polarization—the vast gap between Republicans and Democrats—to be a defining and ever-growing feature of American politics today. But an experiment called “America in One Room” set out to discover just how rigid and vast that gap is. Turns out: It’s not as solid or as wide as you may think.
It’s long past time for more diverse voices in the field of national security and nuclear policy—and that’s exactly why the Ploughshare Fund, a global security grant-making foundation that supports initiatives seeking to eliminate nuclear weapons and the threats they pose, has awarded $50,000 to groups and individuals working to diversify the field.
“Inclusivity means real representation: not just elites getting a seat at the table. Being at the table is a means, not the end.”
Notably absent from recent headlines about the potential withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is talk of the dangerous consequences such a decision could have for women and girls in the region—and the lack of women’s representation in the ongoing “peace talks” between the Trump administration and leaders of the Taliban.
Only 12 percent of the people who held leadership positions in the field of nuclear security from the 1970s to 2019, including in an acting capacity, were women. (Only 2 percent of that 12 percent were women of color.) Their stories deserve to be told. That’s why Heather Hurlburt, Elizabeth Weingarten and Alexandra Stark and I set out to create the first oral history of how these pioneers impacted policy and the obstacles they faced to make it happen.
“I just knew that if we didn’t focus on peace and security and the role that women can and should play, we would be missing opportunities that would make a big difference to ending conflict, saving lives and creating more peaceful situations that would be good for the United States.”
The 2011 debut of Women, War and Peace was a landmark. Seven years later, the intersections of gender and conflict remain as relevant as ever—so PBS is releasing four more installments.