If the West Africa Ebola epidemic follows the history of past outbreaks, it is highly likely that it will become endemic to the subregion and subsequent outbreaks can begin at any time. In fact, errant cases of Ebola have continued into 2016. And we do not want a redux of the 2014 epidemic. Which is why it is troubling that Congress is debating whether to reallocate $350 million in funds designated for Ebola to contribute to the Zika fund.
After writing our article on women of color in national security, we met with Bishop Garrison who wrote a piece on supporting women of color in the sector. As young professionals, we wish to see more diversity represented in the leadership that helps maintain our safety. In addition to more representation, we thought about what leaders and mentors can do to cultivate a more inclusive environment and be better allies for young women of color like us.
As a field that centers on defense and foreign relations, national security has had a long history of being predominantly male. Recent public debate on women and national security have rightfully acknowledged this problem, showing how gender bias, unequal pay, and work-family life challenges have posed barriers to greater progress. However, we have also found a lack of recognition of the racial biases and barriers to inclusion that women of color must also confront to excel in the field of national security.
The recently-adopted U.N. Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons acknowledges the importance of an inclusive process that engages civil society in maintaining international security, one founded on the principle of an educated global citizenry.