Senator Shaheen saves Office of Global Women's Issues after Fuller Project reporting
Photo credit: WADI

Yesterday, Senator Shaheen [D-NH], the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relationships Committee, amended the State Department Reauthorization Bill for FY2018 to preserve the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues. 

Amid the turbulence of the health care repeal efforts, we don't want to lose sight of the importance of this action. The Office of Global Women's Issues is the only office within the Department of State dedicated exclusively to empowering women and girls. 

Christina Asquith, founder of The Fuller Project, has steadily reported on US foreign policy and the impact on global women, including a series of explanatory features in PRI last year on US spending on women abroad. Her February report for Public Radio International's Across Women's Lives addressed the request sent by Trump administration officials to Cathy Russell, then Ambassador of the Office of Global Women's Issues, for intel on gender equality spending and personnel within her office.

In Ambassador Russell's words, "It wasn't a benign request...They were looking for the family planning money and the LGBT programming and spending."

Reporting on the administration's drive to eliminate programs that related to family planning and contraception, Christina found the conservative Catholic group C-Fam has been central in advocating for UN development programs for women to be dismantled. When Trump officials stated that the UN Population Fund supports forced sterilization in China, Christina debunked the claim. 

When news surfaced in early May that the $8 million budget for the Office of Global Women's Issues would be slashed amid massive military spending, Christina crunched the numbers, illustrating what the impact would be for women in places like Afghanistan should the US continue its rebuke of programs for women. 

The Fuller Project is proud to have been a leading investigative voice on this issue, and together with Dr. Valerie Hudson and other experts and researchers, to have pointed to the disproportionate harm that would result from cutting the Office of Global Women's Issues. We applaud journalists and others demonstrating the clear link between women's empowerment and peace and stability. 

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