Biden State Dept. to Spend $12 Million Teaching Climate Change, Gender Studies in Iraq

PETROS GIANNAKOURIS

The Biden administration will spend as much as $12 million educating the Iraqi population on combating climate change and promoting “gender diversity” as part of an initiative to promote democracy in the troubled Middle Eastern nation.

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Last month, the department released a grant proposal of up to $4 million each to three Iraqi universities. Recipients are expected to establish “fields of study, course offerings, and/or majors” emphasizing “gender issues” and climate change impact “adaptation and mitigation,” according to the grant proposal.

Meanwhile, the department is also encouraging Iraqi universities to create student recruitment programs, focusing on those interested in advancing “greenhouse gas reduction” and other climate change-related areas of study.

For a program to qualify, it must also adhere to “progressive curricula” and contribute to enhancing the student body’s diversity at American-style Iraqi higher education institutions. It also stipulates that 40 percent of all funds awarded must directly benefit Iraqi women, although that does not necessarily include biological women.

“[The grant] requires that all activities fully address intersectional gender and inclusion considerations, ensuring that individuals of all genders and diverse backgrounds benefit from support to the extent feasible, and that gender and inclusion awareness is a built-in component of project activities,” it reads, adding that this applies to both “gender” and “gender identity.”

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The posting also emphasizes a requirement for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives to be implemented within Iraqi universities, identifying them as necessary for access to funding.

Under the “equity” category, the department highlights the importance of equity for “transgender and queer” Iraqis. In assessing grant applications, potential recipients will be assessed on their capacity to integrate “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility” into their staffing structures.

The grant was first reported by The Washington Free Beacon, which asked the department for comment on how the grants will advance America’s interest in the region.

“We know that more inclusive governments are better equipped to address global challenges,” a department spokesperson told the outlet. “Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not only a matter of human rights and fairness, but when present together promote stability, prosperity, and security.”

Iraq is not the only Middle Eastern country where the Biden administration is investing in progressive dogmas usually confined to the liberal West. Last month, the State Department offered a $500,000 grant to help teach English in Pakistan, in part by providing “intensive professional development courses for Pakistani transgender youth.”

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“In this specific grant, the Department provides funding for English-language learning, an integral skill that helps unlock educational and employability opportunities, for marginalized communities, in this case transgender youth,” a State Department spokesperson said at the time.

In 2021, a government report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction found that the U.S. had invested more than $787.4 million in the pursuit of gender equality in Afghanistan, achieving disappointing results. Efforts made by the U.S. Agency for International Development to train women to join anti-Taliban militias led to unrest among the almost exclusively male ranks. The report highlighted how, notwithstanding U.S. endeavors, there was a noticeable decrease in the political engagement of women from 2004 to 2019.

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