Marisol Ruiz writes, Want to Fix Border Crises? Empower Women.
Ms Ruiz, whose research focuses on gender and international relations, states that
A common denominator in most proposals is that they lack a gender perspective or simply ignore the concerns of women and girls. A long-term solution is to urge Central American governments to allocate resources – their own and any that the United States may want to contribute – to policies that reduce inequality and promote “gender mainstreaming” – the “globally accepted approach to achieving gender equality,” according to UN Women, so women’s and men’s concerns and experiences are “integral to the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all policies and programs.”
. . .
Any approval by US Congress for emergency funds should attach specific conditions to the aid packages, ensuring the money will implement policies focused on gender mainstreaming, highlighting the importance of transforming gender relations, rather than just implementing a one-size-fits-all approach to include women.
Her solutions include government spending in education, family planning, legalizing abortion, and “investing in political equality” by including women in the policymaking.
Yes, good, universal elementary school education and fostering literacy is a vital factor. But what is missing from Ruiz’s picture?
Not a word on the rule of law.
Not a word on curtailing corruption.
Not a word on protecting and encouraging property rights.
Not a word on fostering economic growth by decreasing bureaucracies, streamlining the registration and licensing of businesses, or investing in infrastructure.
Not a word on finding ways to provide access to capital (other than by remittances, that is).
Not a word on attracting foreign investment, industrializing, increasing exports, or increasing productivity.
So, would “gender mainstreaming” fix the border crisis? No.