On Sunday April 7, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned. Nielsen oversaw the implementation of controversial U.S. child separation policies at the U.S.-Mexican border. She stepped down when the Trump Administration asked her to violate a court order against the practice to resume such family separations. Nielsen’s departure will not deter the Trump Administration, nor can it heal the traumas accrued from years of forced family separation policies and politics.
“Empower Women to Foster Freedom,” proclaimed Ivanka Trump as she rolled out the Trump administration’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on February 6. The first daughter claimed that women could bring about peace and prosperity, enhancing both economic growth and national stability, if only we could eliminate barriers to their labor force participation and income generation, moving them from the informal to the formal economy. “One of the most undervalued resources in the developing world,” she argued, is “the talent, ambition and genius of women.” The US would come to their rescue through a package of initiatives to be coordinated by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in conjunction with corporate and NGO partners. Workforce development, vocational education, and skills training, as well as access to capital, markets, networks, and mentorship would “unleash” prosperity for “families, communities, and nations.” Such is the Trumpian version of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Depression-era maxim, “It is up to the women.”
HUMPHREY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
301 19th Avenue South Minneapolis MN 55455