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What We're Reading | May 18, 2012

Article by George W. Bush Presidential Center May 18, 2012 //   3 minute read

The Arab Spring and American Ideals: Earlier this week, President George W. Bush delivered remarks spotlighting freedom movements and dissidents around the world.  He urged Americans to support freedom advocates in their quest for democracy and, “as Americans, our goal should be to help reformers turn the end of tyranny into durable, accountable civic structures.” (Wall Street Journal, George W. Bush) Don’t Abandon Afghan Women: Over the past decade, the women of Afghanistan have seen extraordinary changes.  They have transitioned from the harsh rule of the Taliban, where they weren’t allowed to receive an education or leave the house without being escorted by a male, to a new Afghanistan where women are getting an education and becoming part of the work force.  However, this hard earned progress is at risk: “A March 2 fatwa from the Ulema Council, which advises the Afghan government on religious matters, actively encouraged a return to shades of Taliban-era female repression”.  In this op ed, Mrs. Bush warns that a return to such policies would have a negative impact on the country as a whole, saying that “progress is possible only if it includes all of a country’s citizens.” (Washington Post, Laura Bush) Exploring the Role of Mobile Technology as a Health Care Helper:  As technology, specifically mobile technology, continues to reshape the way people think about every aspect of their lives, from communication to travel to democracy movements, it is also making a big impact in health care: “Mobile technology is changing the landscape of health care delivery across the developing world by giving people who live in rural villages the ability to connect with doctors, nurses and other health care workers in major cities.”  (The New York Times, Stephanie Novak) The United Arab Emirates – A Fertile Frontier for Financial Women:  Anne Izzillo, president of the Financial Women’s Association of New York wrote a piece in the Huffington Post about the tremendous opportunity for women entrepreneurs in the UAE, following an FWA conference there. She writes, “Despite our cultural differences, I was struck by how American and Emirati business women are striving for the same goals: diversity on corporate boards, the need for improved business operations and gender equality in regards to compensation and career advancement.” Her piece highlights the diversity of issues facing women in the Middle East – some fighting for basic gender equality, others fighting for seat in the boardroom. (Huffington Post, Anne Izzillo)