Anika Rahman is a lawyer with a distinguished career as a leader for human rights and social justice. Her expertise is focused on women, health and economic development.
Ms. Rahman served as President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the leading U.S. social justice foundation focused on women. She focused on strengthening the women’s movement, with a special emphasis on diversity and the concerns of marginalized communities. She led the foundation toward a comprehensive new strategic plan that consolidated the organization’s finances and expanded its public profile as a national voice for women.
Previously, Ms. Rahman was the President of Friends for United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the world’s largest funder of reproductive and sexual health programs. In her tenure at the helm of Friends for UNFPA, Ms. Rahman was instrumental in raising awareness of the global fight for the rights of women and girls and of America’s critical role in this movement. She significantly grew the organization in size and scope and was part of the campaign to have UNFPA funding restored by President Obama.
Ms. Rahman was the Founding Director of the International Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she created a legal framework for reproductive rights as human rights and helped women around the world fight for equality and health. As the visionary behind the Center’s global and U.S. foreign policy work, she developed the Center into the foremost legal organization in the world on international women’s reproductive rights. Among her achievements, Ms. Rahman led investigations into human rights violations, including sexual assault, coercive sterilization and abortion-related imprisonment, in Peru, Chile and Nepal.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Rahman practiced law at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.
Ms. Rahman earned her Bachelor of Arts from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and her Juris Doctorate from Columbia Law School. She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms. Rahman received the 2009 Women’s eNew “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” award and the 2002 Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility from Columbia Law School. Her articles have been published in major academic and legal journals and media outlets. In 2000, she co-authored a book, “Female Genital Mutilation: A Practical Guide to Worldwide Laws and Policies,” published by St. Martin’s Press.
The fast-food chain may have been sincere in its attempt to help its low-wage workers budget, by creating a financial planning guide that suggests monthly spending on a variety of expenses. But the company is blind to the realities.
Americans view U.S. assistance for global women's heath programs as important, but not necessary to our own interests but these issues must form a core part of our foreign policy as much as oil, war and trade. The next administration can change that.
Neither Presidential candidate has yet pledged to restore funding to UNFPA. Both should -- because when women are healthy, more economically stable and better able to participate in society, society evolves to benefit all of us.
When authorities removed 413 children in danger of sexual abuse from the Yearning for Zion ranch this month, it became clear that here in the US, child marriage is a result of brainwashing and indoctrination.
How can we trigger passion for social justice in young people? Nothing touches people like personal connection. That's why last year Americans for UNFPA started the Student Award for the Health and Dignity of Women.
No matter what the framers intended, we now follow a system of government that is heavily weighed toward the executive branch. So more than ever we need a President who understands the importance of global women's health.
Societies are living, evolving entities just like the people who comprise them. And when one or a few decide to change things - if they are very passionate, persistent and, one might argue, extraordinary - societies do change.
This week Americans for UNFPA launches Lifelines, a new online community. We ask women all over the world to share their stories and then compare them with the stories of others. We believe it is these shared experiences that engage people in these global challenges, create lasting relationships and lead people to action.
By focusing exclusively on egregious and tragic examples of the most extreme cases of society failing women, we lose sight of the fact that, in many parts of the world, it's bad for your health just to be a woman.
It's tempting to think of early marriage as a solution to economic deprivation. But early marriage almost always means less education, limited opportunities and economic insecurity for the married girl.
Is it possible that having a woman as a serious contender for the Presidency replaces discussion of the issues particular to women, such as reproductive health care and the increasing feminization of HIV?
Every year Congress releases funds for crucial women's health care programs globally. Every year President Bush withholds those funds. Americans for UNFPA asks: what will the next president do to help prevent the deaths of thousands of women worldwide?
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