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The Contender
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The United States should use aid to influence countries with oppressive gender policies to reform

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 744 times Debate No: 41945
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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In poor countries, the treatment of women is horrible. Rape, honor killings, and powerlessness are widespread and women in nations such as Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nepal do not know of the rights and privileges that women in richer nations know. In 1970, richer nations pledged to contribute 0.7% of their Gross National Income to foreign aid to such countries. However, this goal is rarely met. Better policies and improved methods are needed to encourage governments that oppress women to reform. Women make up half of the world's population, yet represent 70% of the world's poor. The United States is one of the major powers of the world, and they should play a role in helping underprivileged countries. Even though women in other countries have gained rights without external help, conditions were never as bad as they are in modern 3rd world countries.


I would likely to briefly thank the pro contender for the chance to challenge his viewpoint.
I will break my argument into three central points regarding foreign aid to countries with "oppressive gender stances."

1.) I will ask the question of what defines a country with poor "treatment of women." Is it merely that they are poor? Is it that they are an ethnicity who should be fostered? There is poor treatment of women in many countries, not just poor ones.

2.) I will bring up the question of equality in the name of inequality. Shouldn't a governments primary role be to foster the development of its own people? There are many people starving in first-world countries that need that money and assistance just as bad. How can you deny your own citizens money and expect them to be happy that you are sending it overseas. Is this not their tax money? "0.7% of their Gross National Income" is huge when compared to first-world economies and I do not blame these countries for not following through. I am not saying charity work is a bad thing, merely that this money could benefit the poor in first-world countries. This would in turn set up a better global stage for charity down the road.

3.) Thirdly, I will bring up the question of effectiveness and intention. "We take money from poor people in rich countries and give it to rich people in poor countries." I will support that quote and infer what the real reason behind first-world nations giving foreign aid to poor countries is. You say it is in the name of gender discrimination but I see something far more sinister on the horizon.

Thank you for this opportunity again, and I look forward to debating the topic.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for taking the time to debate this topic with me.
You make some very valid points.

1. It's not necessarily just the poor countries, it just seems like it's a lot worse in poor countries. A country with poor treatment of women is not defined by its category of being rich or poor. It is defined when women, no older than 16 years of age, are married off as child brides. Domestic violence is so common that 87% of women in Afghanistan ADMIT to experiencing it. There could be so many more. Daughters that are not married off are sold into human trafficking in Nepal. Rape is so brutal and systematic that UN investigators have called them unprecedented. Few women escape the torture of genital mutilation. Women are mistreated everywhere, even in the United States still. However, much ground has been taken in the battle against this. Women in the US have not had to face the same poverty and cultural oppression as those in Africa or the Middle East.

2. I agree with you on this one. I totally think that we should worry about our country first, but these countries are our "friends" and if we stop helping them, then we won't have any "friends." Yeah, it sucks that we have to "buy" our "friends", but that's just the way it works.
Yes, the homeless and starving in our country is a troubling matter; however, there are programs already to deal with these issues. Yes, they may phase out and close, but new programs will be made. This is the jurisdiction of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness to provide for these homeless and starving citizens. They are allotted a budget yearly to deal with such matters and that does not include the 0.7% of the US budget made for foreign aid. This is a large sum of money, which does not necessarily need to be met, for even 0.1% is a large amount of our almost SIXTEEN TRILLION dollar Gross National Income.

3. Aid is not only giving money to people in other nations. Yes, that would be done in an attempt to help governments; however, products can be given as well. Bed nets have been given to places that have a high rate of Malaria, medicine and resources to help with sickness, HIV, and childbirth. It has always been a goal of the United States to influence governments in other nations to adopt our democratic system, something that isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the primary goal must simply be to assist. The condition of countries in Africa, the Middle East, and in some Asian nations is simply deplorable and the United States, regardless of our minor homeless rate or lower class, has a responsibility as a major world power to bring these countries out of poverty. We must be a helping hand to guide these nations out of poverty and oppression and into prosperity and equality.
Kennedy created the Peace Corps during the Cold War with the Soviet Union just to keep the countries a democracy. If the country became the Communist, the Peace Corps stopped helping them.

Thank you, again, for taking the time to debate this with me. I, as well, look forward to debating the topic.


Thank you for providing a well thought response. I agree with a couple of the points you have made regarding the poor treatment of women.

1.) While I understand that the treatment of women is usually far worse in poorer countries, I am unsure on whether this justifies the need for developed nations to pick and choose who they send resources to. "Domestic violence is so common that 87% of women in Afghanistan ADMIT to experiencing it." Many countries plagued by Islamic fundamentalism have abnormally high gender abuse problems, but I believe it is more cultural than economic. Islam is notorious for having a harsh view towards women's rights. This is a problem that can only be fixed in two ways; the moderation of Islamic views or the complete abandonment of religious superiority in the region.
I guess the problem I am having with this point is that it is hard to call this an effort to "encourage governments that oppress women to reform" when it is clearly an effort to combat poverty. Foreign aid against poverty has little impact on improving the treatment of women. It only creates a dependence upon richer nations to continually provide supplies. Then what happens? If a first-world nation decides to cut off supplies, receiving countries plummet back into previous methods of obtaining wealth, such as black markets and exploitation of wildlife.

2.) We appear to agree mostly on this point but I'd like to address one issue. We should 100% support democracy in a secondary role to the upkeep of our own nation, but I do not think throwing money at poverty is a viable solution. You say that there are organizations for alleviating poverty in the U.S. but there also a sizable number of said organizations who offer charities to poor African countries. Many anti-HIV organizations use privately donated funds to combat the aids epidemic in these nations. I do not like the idea of a government that pledges a definite amount of money to a poor country, and used taxpayer dollars to do so.

3.) The U.S. government should not make any definite pledges of foreign aid considering how fragile it's own economy is. I like the idea of supplies over straight cash, such as mattresses and vaccines, but even these supplies are a disincentive for the often authoritarian regimes of these nations to address the root of the issue. If they realize that foreign powers are intervening and supposedly soothing problems in their countries, dictators will ignore the root causes such as lack of industrialization and commodities. Therefore, it creates this large dependency that I mentioned in the first point. There are often false claims in popular culture that argue that we could "fix" world hunger as if it will just disappear. The funny thing about hunger is that it keeps coming back, and would be impossible to consistently suppress.

So what is the solution to helping these powers? Is there anything we can do?

- I would encourage democracy in poor countries and promote industrialization. If they can get away from dictators exploiting the people and environment, the source of the poverty could be diminished. The most important role we should play is not to provide funding directly against poverty and disease, but funds directed to SECULAR pro-democratic freedom fighters (not religious fascist groups.) The governments in these poor countries are most often the problem, along with warring rebel tribes. Also, as stated earlier, I would prefer privately funded organizations to be making these leaps instead of placing burden on taxpayers who are struggling to get by from paycheck-to-paycheck.

- "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Industrialization will come later, after authoritarian regimes collapse and free markets/free speech are established. Therefore, if we can get a poor country running by itself without foreign aid, we have effectively done all we should do. Authoritarianism is the root of all human ill in the world and needs to be stamped out. For centuries these people have been oppressed and exploited by Caliphates and Kings, never given a chance to develop what is needed to grow an economy.

Thank you for bearing with me. I look forward to a response.
Debate Round No. 2


By the way, this is for a debate project in my college English class, so I don't actually have to be legitimately for or against it. But I have to be for it just for the debate.
I'm pretty much against it, though. I feel as if we should stop interfering with other countries and focus on our own. How does women oppression in other countries affect us? It's not our country. Yes, it's horrible what they do to women, but that's their choice. We should have nothing to do with that. I don't understand why we are giving money to other countries when we really need it here. There are women getting treated just as badly here as there are in other countries. Why don't we help our own people?
On a side note, I don't think that it's government aid that creates the most change for reform. The people do. The people realize that they have oppressive governments already. They see how other countries work. The U.S. government should give aid directly to the people. We shouldn't focus on governments. Who cares if you run your country differently? Focuson the people that need help.
I very much appreciate you taking the time to debate with me.

1. It justifies the need for us to pick and choose who we send resources to because as a brother country, we are supposed to help and if the women in our "family" are getting mistreated, then we should help to stop that. And Islamic countries only have high gender abuse problems because it tells the men to beat their wives.
- Qur'an (4:34) - "Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and BEAT THEM; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great."
- Qur'an (38:44) - "And take in your hand a green branch and beat her with it, and do not break your oath..." Allah telling Job to beat his wife.
Why do this? This isn't going to solve anything. It's just going to scare them into obeying men.
We aren't giving them the money to stop poverty. We're basically just saying, "Hey, if we give you money, then you have to treat your women better." Giving them supplies is just another way of bribing them.

2. "Instead of throwing money at poverty", we could give more funding to these other organizations.
Other than that, I completely agree with you on this point.
I'm sorry, I'm not really a debater. I'm merely just a 16 year old student.

3. We wouldn't make a pledge, but we would use it as encouragement to industrialize. As a "big brother," it is our duty to help and give money to our "family."

I like your solutions.

I see this is the last round. So, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this with me. It is greatly appreciated.
~ Fairwinds.


Thanks for the good debate. Hope your project goes well too.

- To summarize

1.) Gender relations is a cultural problem that needs to be solved through a new era enlightenment and discarding of tradition religious beliefs.

2.) Money from first-world countries rarely impacts change in gender relations and often ends up in the hands of dictators.

3.) Constant sending of supplies to these nations creates a dependence on "infinite care," and is a disincentive for dictators to try and alleviate poverty/disease.

4.) Many globalists adamantly support large foreign aid spending as a form of redistribution of wealth from rich to poor nations. Often cultural Marxists will try and label opponents as racist if these massive charities are not met. They really do not care about the poor people, but rather the ideology of redistribution and glorification of globalism. These are people who often support authoritarianism and try to disguise themselves as liberals. Do not buy into this, they are hidden globalists and cultural Marxists. Progressive liberalism is generally libertarian in ideals and opposes globalism and interventionism.

5.) The only way these nations can succeed is the destruction of their religious and authoritarian regimes, and the implementation of industry and free markets/free speech. Secular Pro-Democracy freedom fighters are the answer to this problem as reform will be inevitable under such a modernized system. Our goal as first-world nations should be promoting these freedom fighters and denouncing dictators and oppressive governments. Money should come via private pro-democracy organizations that bolster the resistance movements.

Thank you for the debate, it was interesting. I hope that the world can change for the better, without turning to globalist policies and interventionism. Long live liberty!
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by JernHenrik 1 year ago
Most go to Afghanistan soon. Lovely place
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