A group calling itself the “brain trust” met in secret recently to plot how to take advantage of conflict situations to advance the abortion and radical feminist agenda. A new group called the Global Justice Center (GJC) hosted the New York meeting on June 9 of this year. The Friday Fax was given the chance to listen to a recording of the inaugural meeting of the “brain trust” which details the GJC’s plan to exploit ceasefire and peace talks to gain leverage in newly-formed governments.
The GJC meeting brought together academics, lawyers, practitioners with ties to radical groups as the George Soros’ Open Society Institute, Equality Now, Center for Reproductive Rights, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and Amnesty International. Jeremy Sarkin, the current UN Special Rapporteur for Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances was also at the meeting.
Participants at the meeting lamented the lack of international political will to enforce “gender justice” around the world and agreed that “shock treatment” was needed to change “the entrenched political and cultural norms that perpetuate male-dominated decision-making bodies and constrain women.”
Janet Benshoof, former president of the Center for Reproductive Rights and current president and founder of the GJC, asserted that conflict situations could be used as an “access point” to change the culture and the players. Benshoof argued that the prime opportunities for advancing their cause lay in the “transitioning government structures which afford particular opportunity for repositioning women’s role in public life and decision-making.”
Meeting participants deliberated on how human rights law precedents could be made in conflict situations to “reshape power structures,” ensure gender equality, create “judicial entrepreneurs” and change norms. Some ideas included: increasing the number of women judges, increasing the number of female legislators by getting political parties to actively recruit women, and implementing affirmative action policies.
One participant mused, “A lot of laws have not been interpreted or defined in a new country and you can assume that whatever you want the law to be, it is – unless it is proven otherwise. So of course we put the most progressive spin on it.”
Apart from getting involved in conflict situations, the group discussed other possible opportunities and entry points to change norms and advance the agenda. The group expressed hope in being able to take advantage of the new human rights bodies that are being created by the Association of South East Asian Nations and the Arab League.
One member of the group boasted, “The more we say it, the more people get to believing it. We’re changing the norm. First they laugh and then they start repeating it.”
The Global Justice Center started as a project of Women’s Link Worldwide, which was founded by the pro-abortion advocacy group The Center for Reproductive Rights, an organization that seeks to create an international human right to abortion on demand through litigation.
By the end of the day-long meeting, participants said they were looking forward to coming together again to discuss monitoring and implementation and “to think of creative mechanisms for enforcing laws.” Future meetings of the “brain trust” have not yet been announced.