Diplomat Shazia Rafi – International Women’s Rights
Listen to Our Interview with Shazia Belos:
This interview is about Diplomacy at the highest levels, and the important impacts made by women in this position. Shazia Rafi has been involved in every major area of reform necessary on this planet. She is the first and only woman to have lead a Parliamentary group as Secretary General.
Adding women onto every issue being addressed was Shazia’s role:
Shazia worked on Abortion and Women’s Reproductive Rights. In order to get consensus on language around Abortion, her diplomacy focused on the responsibility of the nation states to save lives (vs. personal rights), and she included in the pool of legislators she worked with, ones who had medical training. This took the discussion out of the realm of religion.
Economic Equality for Women: Feminism worldwide is not taking this issue on. No where in the world are women able to make ourselves financially secure. Worldwide, we tend to argue for ourselves as if we are a minority. We are not a minority. We are more than 50%! We need federally mandated laws with oversight for equal pay, and we need the Equal Rights Amendment passed in the U.S. We need a revival around this issue!
Most Urgent Sustainable Development Goals: Air Quality requires action on the part of all global governments. Please write to the State Department and Gina McCarthy, the head of the EPA asking for the U.S. Delegations to work together to bring the same “Air Quality” standards to the U.N., and to push for this issue to be addressed in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals: Contact: Gina McCarthy, US EPA Headquarters, Clinton Bldg, Mail Code 1101A, Washington DC 20460. Tele: 202-564-4700 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact John Kerry, Sec of State, 2201 “C” Street NW, Wash DC 20520. Fax: 202-647-1579.
There has never been a woman nominated as Secretary General of the United Nations. Please urge President Obama to not allow any U.S. nomination to go forward unless there are at least 60% women on the ballot — making up for 70 years of only men. Elections for a new Secretary General will be held in 2016. We need a woman heading the United Nations to take a giant step forward for Feminism as a Sustainability Tool. Contact President Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500. Tele: 202-456-1111 Email at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments. Wouldn’t Shazia Rafi be a wonderful nomination for head of the U.N.! She has 25 years experience in Diplomacy and takes a woman’s view of global solutions.
On any rights issue, there are two ways to approach it: Harm reduction or as a rights issue, and you need to see which one will work. Shazia works within the framework of the United Nations where all items are decided by consensus. Only a very items are sent to the General Assembly to be decided by a 2/3 majority vote. In both cases, there are protections that issues are not decided by one region of the world.
Shazia Rafi was born in Lahore, Pakistan. She has a Master’s degree in International Political Economy. Her regional specialization is in the Islamic countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Ms. Rafi served for five years as the United Nations Representative for the “All Pakistan Women’s Association.” From l996 to 2013, Shazia Rafi served as Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action – a non-profit, non-partisan group of elected officials from over 130 nations.
As a consultant, Shazia helps leading nonprofit organizations working on governance, peace, and gender equality, to improve their outcomes and expand their reach. As a journalist, she covers South Asian politics and women’s empowerment for publications including Ms. Magazine and the Women’s Media Center. As a speaker at leadership conferences, and an adviser to university programs, she trains the next generation of political leaders.