By Rachel Corbett
Saturday, September 10, 2005
As the first woman runs for Germany's highest office on Sept. 18, results from state elections suggest that Angela Merkel, chair of the conservative Christian Democrat party, may become the next chancellor, The Associated Press reported Friday.
Such a victory would signal a change in German voting patterns that traditionally reflect support for a party, not a candidate. Outcomes from recent elections in Germany have demonstrated that female voters are inclined to support female candidates regardless of party affiliation.
Alice Schwartzer, a leading women's rights advocate in Germany, said women had reason to brush aside political differences to support a female candidate. "For the first time in the history of Germany a woman is campaigning for the office of chancellor. And that is not supposed to play a role for us women?" she said.
United Nations Ambassador John Bolton has proposed to dramatically alter a U.N. summit document, deleting all references to the Millennium Development Goals, according to media reports Tuesday. In April, all 191 U.N. member states agreed to try to achieve the goals, which include the promotion of gender equality and improving maternal health, by the year 2015. The news came as a shock to other officials including China's U.N. delegate Zhang Yishan, who said of Bolton's plan, "There are too many recommendations. At the same time it's very simple because they (the Americans) are deleting everything."
In eliminating those references, Bolton came under fire for what critics said was an attempt by the U.S. to withdraw from its previous commitments. Among the hundreds of amendments proposed by Bolton is one to remove reaffirmation of the objectives of the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, which advocated cutting world poverty in half, reducing infectious diseases such as HIV-AIDS and working for women's equality. The U.S. has also called for the elimination of the U.N.'s human rights commission.
--Karen James contributed to this report.
Rachel Corbett is a Women's eNews intern and freelance writer based in New York City. Karen James is a Women's eNews intern and a master's candidate at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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