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Feminist News


October-05-04

State Department Funds Anti-Women's Rights Group To Train Iraqi Women

Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that the Independent Womens Forum (IWF), was one of the recipients awarded part of a $10 million grant to train Iraqi women in the skills of democratic public life. IWFs website states that their mission is to counter the dangerous influence of radical feminism in the courts and to combat corrosive feminist ideology on campus. It was established to combat the women-as-victims, pro-big-government ideology of radical feminism.

Talk about an inside deal, the IWF represents a small group of right-wing wheeler-dealers inside the Beltway, said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority.

IWF has a history of opposition to womens rights, including the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), stating that VAWA was not helpful to the victims and gives too much authority to the government, reports the Washington Post. In addition, IWF led a campaign against Title IX that calls for gender equity in education and the Womens Educational Equity Act that gives schools the materials to combat sex discrimination.

IWF was founded by well-known and well-connected right-wing Republican conservatives. Former board members include Lynne Cheney, PhD (literature), former chairman (sic) of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1986-1993), senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and wife of Vice President Dick Cheney; Wendy Lee Gramm, wife of former Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) and former board member of Enron, who joined the Enrons board shortly after leaving her position as head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which gave Enron and other oil and gas companies an exemption from federal regulations, which proved to be a big financial boon to Enron, according to PBS; and Kate OBeirne, Washington Editor of the National Review and former vice president of government relations at the Heritage Foundation.

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Media Resources: US State Department 9/27/04; Washington Post 5/1/01; PBS