President Obama appointed Melanne Verveer as the first ever Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues in June 2009. Verveer’s post is housed within the State Department and it should come as no surprise she is buddy-buddy with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The primary purpose of her position is to lobby for women’s political, economic and social advancement throughout the world. But the definition of what constitutes “advancement” is tricky—are “advancements” the same for every woman?
At first I would say yes. Women should be given the same opportunity as men in education, employment and health care…really the list can go on for pages. The problem, however, is feminism has argued that women and men should produce equal outcomes in order for their opportunity to be considered equal. This is where what is considered “advancement” is different for women who have distinct views of a woman’s role within society. As a conservative, I recognize that while men and women can have equal opportunity that will not necessarily produce an equal outcome, and outcomes should never be regulated by the government.
But let’s go back to Ambassador Verveer. One of her core beliefs is that women should be educated. For Verveer, educated women who enter the labor force and public life on an equal footing with men can reduce poverty and promote national growth.
Therefore, the single best investment that can be made in the developing world is in educating girls, wrote Ambassador Verveer during a recent web-chat on America.Org.
Educating girls is important, however, it is not the single best investment to be made in a developing country. What about the boys? Are they the “second best” form of investment?
She takes education a step further when she writes:
According to Verveer education and marriage go hand-in-hand—the more educated a woman is, the more likely she is to not get married at an early age. This is yet another lie that the feminist movement has made young girls believe. Marriage should always be approached with sensitivity and discernment, but if a woman chooses to marry at a young age, she is no less educated than her older counterpart. And the woman who postpones marriage, just to seem “more educated,” is doing herself a disservice that may prove regrettable. As Verveer travels the globe promoting female advancement she needs to be reminded that advancements look different for women everywhere and education without marriage is not the right advancement.