World Economic Forum
The Global Gender Gap Report was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 to analyze disparities between genders in a worldwide context. It assesses national gender gaps in political, economic, health, and education-related areas and ranks countries according to data, allowing comparisons across regions, time, and income groups. According to the report’s introduction, these rankings “are designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them.” This excerpt looks at women’s impact on economic growth through increased education, participation in the labor force, and women’s role as consumers, or the “power of the purse.”
From “The Global Gender Gap,” World Economic Forum, 2010. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenderGap_Report_2010.pdf (downloaded November 20, 2012).
The phrase “the white man’s burden” and its association with the British writer Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) is well known today, but few realize that this exhortation was addressed to the American people, who had taken possession of the Philippines in 1899 as a result of the Spanish-American War (1898). Ignoring the independent Philippine government when signing a peace treaty with Spain, the US occupied Manila and within a year defeated the troops of the protesting Filipino government under the elected president Emilio Aguinaldo. US troops captured Aguinaldo in 1901, but a full-scale guerilla war continued—and tactics like the “waterboarding” of captured insurgents were introduced—until 1913. Kipling, however, consistently advocated the position that, as he claimed for the British in India, “East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”
United Nations General Assembly
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, was one of the most significant and lasting results of the Second World War. The League of Nations, created after the First World War, had failed to prevent the beginning of another, even more catastrophic and costly conflict. The United Nations was planned throughout the war as a substitute mechanism for global peace and security, but world leaders also believed that a document was necessary to affirm the rights of individuals throughout the entire world. A formal drafting committee, consisting of members from eight countries, was charged with the task. The committee chair was Eleanor Roosevelt, the widow of President Roosevelt and a strong advocate for human rights in her own right. By its resolution 217 A (III), the General Assembly, meeting in Paris, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Eight nations abstained from the vote, but none dissented.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/)
Lyndon B. Johnson
The American leader most associated with American involvement in Vietnam was President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973). In his speech “Why Americans Fight in Vietnam” (1965), he attempted to explain to the American people why the United States needed to undertake a difficult, dangerous, and expensive endeavor. But three years later, with his popularity at its lowest point, President Johnson announced that he would not seek a second term as president, and he retired to his Texas ranch in 1969.
Lyndon B. Johnson, “Why Americans Fight in Vietnam,” in The Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, volume 1, 172 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1966), 394–99.
The Vietnam War and the cost it imposed on the young Americans who served there (not to mention on the Vietnamese themselves) was the focus of John Kerry’s testimony before the U.S. Senate, which is excerpted here. John Kerry (1943– ) was a highly decorated (Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts) Vietnam veteran who cofounded and became the leading spokesman for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. A Massachusetts native and a graduate of Yale University, Kerry enlisted in the navy and served two tours of duty in Vietnam, leading gunboat patrols in the Mekong Delta. Upon his return, he became a leading critic of the war and its “hypocrisy.” After completing law school, Kerry entered Massachusetts politics in 1976 and later was elected to three terms as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts before running for U.S. President in 2004 and joining the Obama administration in 2012 as Secretary of State. The speech presented here was his introductory statement made to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 1971. In explaining his opposition to the Vietnam War, Kerry provides a view on the Vietnam conflict that highlights the divisive bitterness that the war created in America.
John Kerry, “Why I Oppose the Vietnam War,” in Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia, Hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 92d Congress, 1st sess., April–May 1971 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1971), 180–83, 185.