Latest polls in USA show that Joe Biden is consistently performing better than Donald Trump, though the lead is very less in the critical swing states.
In year 2007, Biden was the chairman of the US Senate Foreign affairs committee. He wanted to create a fund of USD 1 billion for feminists in a dozen countries including India. He along with Republican Senator Richard Lugar then introduced a bill called International Violence against Women Act (IVAWA). Such funds are normally channelized through USAID, the charity arm of US State Department.
Joe Biden’s intention was to promote feminism as an important foreign policy objective. As it was a bipartisan legislation — a law sponsored by senators of both political parties of USA — it was unlikely to face much opposition. Male victims of Indian origin who were getting support from Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) and other men’s organisations in USA, got together and tried to oppose this law in US Congress with the guidance from local American men’s rights organisations.
2008 Global Crisis
Because of global economic crisis in 2008, Joe Biden failed to pass this bill and in the subsequent year, he focused on his successful campaign to become Vice President of USA. Obama picked him as the Vice Presidential candidate and both tried their best to ride on feminism to get as many women’s votes as possible.
Soon after winning the elections, Joe Biden’s agenda was furthered by both Senate and house Foreign Affairs committees. The Senate Foreign affairs committee this time was headed by John Kerry, a former Presidential Candidate, who lost against George Bush Jr in 2004. Such political heavy weights were pushing the IVAWA bill to fund the Indian feminists.
What Would It Mean For Indian Men?
If Indian feminist NGOs would have received USD 300 to 400 million from the states, they would have created havoc in India. They would have used that money to lobby for many more anti-male laws in our parliament, and would have possibly propagated a lot more fake news in media using these funds.
By 2010, Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman, and Malika Dutt – head of a feminist NGO called ‘Breakthrough TV’ – started campaigning to get IVAWA passed in the US Congress. Amnesty International, USA also joined this campaign.
Miss Kidman was speaking in her role as a goodwill ambassador for the UN Development Fund for Women to promote the International Violence Against Women Act, which had been stalled going through Congress. She said that violence against women was the most systematic, widespread human rights violation in the world.
This was like a hopeless situation for Indian Men’s Movement. We were starring at a massive defeat. That’s the time the me and my co-founder of the SIFF, decided to head to Washington DC to stop passing of IVAWA. With the help of local men’s rights NGOs at Washington DC area, we tried to set up meetings with staffers, diplomats and political workers at the US Congress.
Between February and April of 2010, we had 30 such meetings with staffers working for both Democrat and Republican members of Congress. We also knocked the doors of offices of another 200 senators and house representatives to give flyers (pamphlets) with details of false cases filed under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code and how innocent men and their family members were being imprisoned on mere allegation by the wife.
We also posted 1000 flyers on the desks of all Senators, members of house and caucuses. We wanted to create a diplomatic storm by saying,
As citizens of India, we request you to include statutory language in IVAWA bill to exclude India from the scope of this funding.
When we met Democrats, we emphasized on the civil liberty violations due to foreign funding of radical feminists and when we met the conservatives/republicans, we spoke about the breakdown of our age old family system. Sometimes we were confronted by staffers who were heavily biased with feminist ideologies.
In November, 2010, John Kerry withdrew the IVAWA bill. In 2015, some more attempts were made to revive this bill, however, yet again these attempts failed. With Donald Trump getting elected as the President of United States in 2016, even Democrats lost hopes of reviving the same.
During the current election campaign, Joe Biden’s campaign website mentions the above on IVAWA. If Biden gets elected as President, it can give new lease of life to global feminists groups.
About the Author
Anil Kumar holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT,(BHU) Varanasi. In 2005, he co-founded Men’s Rights Organisations, Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF). In the next couple of years, he worked to inspire hundreds of new men’s rights activists across India by conducting trainings for activism and media strategies.
He contributed to the founding of Children’s Rights Initiative For Shared Parenting (CRISP), a father’s rights organisation and prominent men’s organization in Hyderabad, Chennai, Vizag and Nagpur. He also worked closely with many Western Men’s Rights Organisations. He is also a board member of International Conference on Men’s Issues (ICMI), a series of Conferences that are held across the world every year.
Anil has been invited several times to give his suggestions to the parliamentary panels, Law Commissions and National Commission for Women (NCW).
* Views expressed by the author are his own
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