I well recall that night as a seventh grader, I decided to forgo the usual Halloween festivities. Instead, I went door-to-door toting a small cardboard box, collecting spare change for UNICEF. I knew the money was going for a good cause to help disadvantaged children around the world.
As early as 1980, UNICEF director Jim Grant championed simple yet effective programs to promote child welfare. These strategies included immunizations, promotion of breastfeeding, and training birth attendants. Grant's initiative has been credited with saving the lives of over 25 million children.
But in 1995, Grant tragically died, and radical feminist Carol Bellamy took over. UNICEF was due for an ideological overhaul.
According to a recent report from the International Organizations Research Group, radical feminists began to argue that female autonomy and empowerment is what really matters. As Mary Racelis, former UNICEF senior policy advisor put it, these activists believed that the organization needed "to focus on a woman's own priorities…rather than decide for her that her children must come first."
Note the false dichotomy in that statement. Apparently, feminists believed that parenthood was incompatible with personal fulfillment.
There is no evidence that sending mom off to work in a factory is good for junior. In fact, research shows the opposite, that children who spend time in day care centers are more likely to be aggressive and disobedient.
Some UNICEF officials resisted this reconfiguration of family roles. But feminists countered with a blitzkrieg of sexist allegations, calling UNICEF a "male-dominated organization" that perpetuated "male-defined stereotypes."
Even breastfeeding came under fire. Feminists took issue with the UNICEF breastfeeding campaign, denouncing the effort because it portrayed women "as the human equivalent of milking cows."
Before long, the name-calling and bovine hysteria-mongering took over.
Once the new gender ideology became entrenched, Bellamy made Girls' Education her number one priority. The 1998 UNICEF report Progress of Nations gives this flimsy ideological justification: "Education can also provide vocational skills, potentially increasing her economic power, thus freeing her from dependence on her husband, father, or brother."
Now, UNICEF officials talk about the global "crisis" facing girls' education. But throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, boys lag behind girls in school enrollments. Apparently this gender gap has escaped the attention of UNICEF officials.
While boys are merely neglected by current UNICEF programs, girls are being subjected to an aggressive campaign to inculcate them with radical feminist ideology.
According to the IORG report, UNICEF has set out to convince girls that being the primary caregiver for children represents gender discrimination.
And under the cover of stopping AIDS, UNICEF provides financial support to organizations that promote sexual experimentation by teenage girls. For example, one UNICEF-supported website asks this titillating question: "Hey, you know that tingly feeling that makes you think of sex after you've seen someone cute?"
Who in their right mind believes that kind of message promotes abstinence and sexual monogamy?
So Carol Bellamy has not merely reshuffled UNICEF's priorities.
Rather, Bellamy has put in place an anti-child agenda that:
- Promotes a redefinition of the family that is no longer child-centered,
- Advocates the neglect of the educational needs of boys, and
- Indoctrinates girls into radical feminist ideology.
So this Fall, when trick-or-treaters come knocking at your door, ask yourself this question: Why is the United States government bankrolling UNICEF's anti-child agenda to the tune of $216 million?
August 18, 2003