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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Conference to stress female inclusion in foreign policy

The Bush School of Government and Public Service will host a conference aimed at emphasizing the importance of women in foreign policy Friday.

The conference, called “National Security and Women’s Insecurity: Why Women Matter in Foreign Policy,” will include several keynote speakers and three panel discussions. The discussions will address topics such as the effect of U.S. foreign policy on Afghanistan women, what a more inclusive foreign policy would entail and what the next U.S. president could do in order to empower women on a global scale. 

Rainie Spiva, the coordinator of the event and A&M research assistant, said by being the first to hold a conference like this, Texas A&M is setting a precedent for other universities.

“I believe that this shows support for women, which is important because women take up half the global population,” Spiva said. “Women’s issues are everyone’s issue. It shows that at A&M we support women’s security, both domestically and abroad.”

The conference will host speakers from a variety of diverse backgrounds including policymakers, government officials, activists and academic scholars. The lead speaker of the conference will be writer and political activist Gloria Steinem. Steinem will join the conference via Skype due to injuries related to a recent fall. 

Bush School dean Ryan Crocker, who has 37 years of experience with the Foreign Service and most recently served as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011, will also speak at the conference. Other notable speakers include Swanee Hunt, former U.S. Ambassador to Austria; Michele Flournoy, member of the Center for a New American Security; and Alissa Johannsen Rubin, former Afghanistan bureau chief for the New York Times. 

Spiva said the event expects to see 600 people in attendance, 300 of which are students. 

The end of the conference will include a book signing of “The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy” by Bush School International Affairs Department Chair Valerie Hudson and co-author Patricia Leidl from 5-6 p.m. in the Annenberg Open Area. 

Spiva said she hopes the conference will have an impact on the audience. 

“Through this conference, we hope that the audience will come away with an understanding of why women are important to foreign policy in regards to the success of a nation,” Spiva said. 

The “National Security and Women’s Insecurity: Why Women Matter in Foreign Policy” conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday in the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center. 

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