Foreign Policy Digital

At the U.N., America Turns Back the Clock on Women’s Rights

Internal documents show how the U.S. works to stymie progress on women’s health, cultural issues, and climate change.

The Trump administration is lining up with less liberal nations such as Saudi Arabia and Malaysia at a major United Nations conference on women this month to roll back international consensus on climate change and migration, while seeking to prevent the expansion of rights for girls, women, and LGBT people.

The U.S. strategy—detailed in a confidential 96-page draft text under negotiations by delegates to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) obtained by Foreign Policy—underscores the degree to which President Donald Trump’s administration is moving further away from traditional democratic allies on social and cultural matters. Instead, Washington is increasingly aligning itself with Persian Gulf countries such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq; Malaysia; and some conservative African nations on a range of issues including questions surrounding protections for LGBT individuals and women’s health issues.

“The U.S. continually wants to call out bad actors and human rights violators but then pals up with them

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