Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Salon (Sept. 10, 2016): Phyllis Schlafly and the global right, by Jonathan Zimmerman:
Following Phyllis Schlafly's death last week, most articles have focused on her opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, promotion of family values and traditional gender roles and opposition to abortion, gay rights and sex education in the U.S. While these conservative values are often associated with opposition to internationalism, Schlafly was also part of an active global conservative movement.
In its early iterations, this international movement focused mainly on Christians in the West. But it took a truly global turn in the 1990s, when activists like Schlafly began to coordinate with conservatives in Asia, Africa and Latin America. They coalesced around opposition to the 1994 International Conference on Population Development in Cairo, which endorsed “reproductive rights,” including access to contraception and sex education, for all human beings.
Five majority Muslim countries, two mostly Catholic countries and the Vatican dissented from the Cairo resolution. Following the conference, the right created its own global networks including the World Congress of Families, which brought together religious conservatives across national boundaries and faiths. The Congress continues to be active today at the U.N. and other international forums.