Saturday, December 18, 2010

'Nuff Said

(Taking context-optional note of thought-provoking quotes)

Women are off the U.S. diplomatic map. A look at 200 WikiLeaks cables finds no mention of our rights or struggles, says Corinna Barnard, and a recent check of the ... Council on Women and Girls site found a top story about romping reindeer.

-- Women's eNews, in an article citing correspondent Barnard (right) (credit for photo by Michael Priest). Barnard looked at 200 cables dispatched from 40 different countries, working "with a list of stories that Women's eNews had produced about women's rights in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other hot spots to determine whether U.S. diplomats were addressing these issues in any way." She found "nothing about poverty and women, reproductive rights, etc."

1 comment:

CaitlynA said...

I thought that the WikiLeaks posting of cables was selective, so I don't know whether the lack of attention to women's issues in the leaked cables reflects a failure to address the issue by foreign service officers, a choice by WikiLeaks toward release of cables that might be embarrassing to the US in its relations with other countries or even a decision by some senders to send e-mails instead of cables. In the current culture of the foreign service, what drives a person to send information as a cable rather than an e-mail? Is there a different status associated with each type of communication? Does a cable get more visibility, either in the sending mission or at its destination? Is it a generational decision, with younger officers preferring e-mail and older one sticking with cables? I expect women's issues still get slighted in communications back to Main State, but I suspect that the WikiLeaks' selection of cables doesn't provide a reliable sample of all cables that had been obtained and might well intentionally leave out thoughtful and insightful analyses of topics such as gender issues.