Clinton will headline two prominent events focused on women’s rights this week. One will commemorate her 1995 women’s rights speech in China and the other will reveal her foundation’s “No Ceilings” report, which is a progress report on women’s rights since that 1995 address. Unlike her last run for the presidency, Clinton is planning to go all-in on gender issues in her likely 2016 campaign.
But her foundation’s acceptance of millions from Middle Eastern regimes with dismal women’s rights records may complicate Clinton’s efforts to cast herself as a champion for women’s rights. Even the Times declared that “even her most strident critics could not have predicted that Mrs. Clinton would prove vulnerable” on women’s rights issues.
As the Times noted, “the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has accepted tens of millions of dollars in donations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Algeria and Brunei — all of which the State Department has faulted over their records on sex discrimination and other human-rights issues.”
For instance, in 2011, Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State, blasted Saudi Arabia for “a lack of equal rights for women and children” after her State Department issued a critical report. The Clinton Foundation, though, according to the Times report, has accepted at least $10 million from the nation since 2001. In addition, “at least $1 million more was donated by Friends of Saudi Arabia, co-founded by a Saudi prince.”
At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), potential GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina noted that Clinton “tweets about women’s rights in this country and takes money from governments that deny women the most basic human rights.”
Over the weekend, Bill Clinton defended the donations to the Clinton Foundation from Middle Eastern regimes.
“Do we agree with everything they do? No. But they’re helping us fight ISIS,” Bill Clinton reportedly said. “You’ve got to decide when you do this work whether it will do more good than harm if someone helps you from another country.”