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Situation in North Korea; More Women in Boardrooms and War Rooms; Women Helping Heal Somalia

Aired April 4, 2013 - 15:00:00   ET


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour.

North Korea and threats of nuclear war from its young leader have alarmed the world this week. But is American inflaming it? The United States has responded to North Korea's provocations with strong measures of its own, moving a missile defense shield to Guam, sending guided missile destroyers to the region and deploying F-2 stealth fighter jets to South Korea as part of a joint military exercise.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon's spokesman told me that these measures were not a show of force but a show of self-defense and support to the American people as well as to allies South Korea and Japan.

And today, the State Department defended the U.S. military buildup but left an opening door for deescalation.


VICTORIA NULAND, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: We have also been saying all the way through that this does not need to get hotter, that it can -- we can change course here.


AMANPOUR: So U.S. officials tell CNN they are intentionally now dialing back, fearing that America's military moves may be driving Kim Jong-un to ever harsher war talk. But there still remains, of course, the chance of miscalculation. Indeed, communication intercepts indicate that Pyongyang may be planning a missile launch within days, but truly nobody really knows what will happen next.

South Korea says the North moved a missile with, quote, "considerable range" two days ago to its East Coast.

And it was this angry declaration on North Korean state television last night that really caught people's attention.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).


AMANPOUR: The news reader was claiming that Pyongyang has ratified a potential nuclear attack on the United States.

So are all sides backs to the wall? And how do they all climb down off this ledge?

In a moment, I'll speak to CNN's Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr.

But first, a look at the other stories we're covering tonight.



AMANPOUR (voice-over): North Korea's boys' club threatens war. Are they testing the resolve of South Korea's first female president? We examine the difference more women might make from the war room to the boardroom without our guest, Baroness Mary Goudie.

BARONESS MARY GOUDIE: One of the most important things we can do for peace of the world is to ensure and to ask that every time the peace table is set up that women are there.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Then we talk to one courageous Somali woman who was there, taking on the warlords and healing a nation.

And later, honoring the victims of Newtown.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONN.: never thought this would happen in my community, in a sleepy little town like Newtown.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): In lieu of flowers, a new law that bans the kind of weapons that took those precious lives.


AMANPOUR: We'll get to all of that in a bit. But first, to our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr.

Barbara, you just heard and you've been covering this all week, what the State Department has said about trying to deescalate. What is the military saying?

BARBARA STARR, CNN REPORTER: Well, good evening, Christiane. You know, the U.S. military really on the same page as the State Department now and the White House, trying to dial all of this back, as you said, for the last several days. We've seen as much hot rhetoric out of the United States practically as much as from North Korea, not quite as vitriolic, but still pretty heavy talk.

Now the worry is that it's just gone a little bit too far, that one side is spurring the other on. So they're trying to dial it back while still achieving that essential objective of reassuring South Korea and Japan that the U.S. will be there for them if North Korea actually causes trouble.

AMANPOUR: Barbara, these exercise are due to carry on for I think the rest of this month. Militarily, what are they planning to do? Are they going to show us all the landings and overflights and this and that they've been showing up until now?

STARR: Well, I think that's the key question. You know, they wanted a very high profile for this exercise as part of that public relations effort, dare we say. There's still a good many weeks to go, as you say, till the end of the month. We're still planning to see a Marine Corps amphibious landing in South Korea. That's one of the key things still to come.

The question will be: how much news coverage does the U.S. want of all this right now? How many TV cameras will be allowed to be there because what they don't want is for this to be perceived as anything other than an exercise. Now all the talk is to try and contain it.

AMANPOUR: Well, now that it's got to this point, Barbara, what does the U.S. think that the North Koreans have or might do militarily?

STARR: Well, the big concern now is this recent movement of mobile missiles and missile launchers to the East Coast of North Korea. If they launch from there, the map will tell you the whole story; this missile will go out over Japan. That will cause a lot of anxiety in Japan, even though it's just a test launch. Nobody wants to see this ratcheting up, this escalation.

Right now, this potential missile launch by North Korea is the key move by them. The rest of it has pretty much been talk and a show of bravado. But they have moved some of this mobile missile technology to their eastern shore. And everybody's waiting to see what they do next.

AMANPOUR: And of course we've seen that they've also restricted the movement around Kaesong, that industrial complex between South and North Korea, just inside the DMZ. What is the sort of word around Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel?

He gave a fairly, I don't know, pointed statement yesterday, "I don't want to be the first one who gets it wrong one time." And of course, his missile defense shield THADD has been moved to Guam. What's the feeling about that?

STARR: Well, I mean, Hagel's point is the U.S., it can't really predict what North Korea will do. Fundamentally, there's very little clear intelligence about what they're up to, what their intentions are and the U.S. has a very limited ability to see, if you will, inside North Korea.

The best the U.S. can really do is fly satellites overhead, try and gather imagery, get some communications intercepts, which it has. But there's such a limited understanding of what they are up to, what Kim Jong- un is up to. Why is he doing all of this?

So one of the key questions, a lot of people will tell you he's trying to consolidate his new position. But others will say, look, he's responding to his hardliners in the North Korean military general staff. And he may be backing himself into a corner where still he might feel the need to lash out against the South, against Japan, against the West. That's the ultimate concern.

To keep that from happening is the fundamental reason the U.S. now wants to ratchet everything back.

AMANPOUR: Barbara Starr, thank you so much. And of course, this begs the question, what about diplomacy? How does one actually deal with adversaries? And as tensions flare in the Korean Peninsula, the world is focused on how the South Korean government will respond. That government is led by a woman, South Korea's first female president, Park Geun-hye.

And my next guest believes that if more women were at the negotiating table and the peace table during international crises and during countries' rebuilding processes, the results would be far more positive.

Baroness Mary Goudie herself broke through her own political glass ceiling when she became the youngest woman elected to a local council in England and later when she was appointed to the Upper House of the British Parliament.

She's a senior member of the House of Lords and a global advocate for women's rights.

Welcome to the program.

GOUDIE: Thank you for having me on today.

AMANPOUR: You're with me at a time of incredible tension. And you have said -- and we showed that piece of a previous speech of yours -- that women need to be at the peace tables, at the negotiating tables.

How do you read what's going on? And in your experience, how has that made a difference?

GOUDIE: That makes enormous difference. In 2000, the United Nations passed Resolution 1325, which was reinforced in 2010, which also said that all sexual crimes during war, where women and boys are used as a tool of war, is also a crime against that country and against those who are the adversaries of this.

I would hope that having a woman prime minister, that she would pull back, that she would negotiate diplomacy, she would think the turmoil that, if she went to war, would cause to the women and children in her country.

AMANPOUR: Well, what have you noticed in your own dealings, for instance in Northern Ireland, where women did play a key role?

GOUDIE: Women played an enormous role in Northern Ireland. If the women in Northern Ireland had not said in the '90s that we've had enough, we've had enough of our children, our men and boys being killed, being murdered, girls being kneecapped, girls not being able to do things, at that time, a few women were interned.

But other women lived in fear. But they lived in fear all the time, having no man at home. They decided enough was enough. And they decided the time had come to put an end to this.

And under Prime Minister Major and under Prime Minister Blair, peace talks started. And when they got to the final Easter, the women there, led by Inez McCormack and by Avila Kilmurray, May Blood, they went to the table. They sat outside and waited and waited till they were invited in.

AMANPOUR: And we saw something similar, in fact, in Liberia, where Leymah Gbowee and her group of women faced down the dictator Charles Taylor. And I've also heard that when women are at the negotiating table, it's not about a zero-sum game.

In other words, a lot of people, especially men and the politicians who we've been talking to, feel sometimes that negotiation and diplomacy means in order for me to win, I have to destroy you; whereas women, I've been told, do a lot more win-win.

Let's move on to women in areas of political power. Now, look, we're sitting in the United States; a huge amount of talk about Hillary Clinton and what her next goal will be, will she run, will she become the first woman president? There hasn't been one here; there's no vice president who's a woman. Only 18 percent of the U.S. Congress is female.

Yet in Britain, you had the first female prime minister and all over the world there have been female elected leaders. What is the next step, do you think, as you look around? How do women bring what you've just spoken about to the table to make a difference?

GOUDIE: Women have to do this. They also have to support each other. But they also have to have men to support them, too. This is a business together. It's not one nor the other.

And in terms of the peace table, it is women that can bring to the peace table to ensure that medical aid's there, that the hospital's there, the education continues, that the schools are not used as some offices, because without schools you can't educate. Without health, you can't take care of society.

And the people shouldn't live in camps, because in camps, they live like animals. So it is important that if women are at the peace table, they'll be consistent with housing, roads; health is put into place. And furthermore, they will insist that investment comes so that jobs and training can come.

AMANPOUR: I want to put up a graphic that we have, again, about women's economic power and how to leverage that.

Here in the United States, women are fairly sort of fully employed. But look what would happen if there was equal employment among women and men, GDP would rise here in the United States by 5 percent and in countries such as Egypt by 34 percent.

How do you get more women into the employment market, even though in many parts of the world, they are the biggest number of those in college; they get the most degrees. More than half of those are earning degrees are women, even in places like Iran. And yet it doesn't show up in the GDP or in personal wealth.

GOUDIE: What we have to do is that we have women lawyers around the world, more accountants, more engineers, more surveyors, more doctors. Doctors manage because they're needed so desperately to keep up.

It is important that women apply for these jobs and that they get these jobs and that they stay there, that they don't back out. They have to stay there and they have to make it.

That's what they want to do and where they want to be because if women are employed, 50 percent of the world are made up with women. The 50 percent GDP to all these countries would make a difference. And they would be educating their children. So we would get a better society.

AMANPOUR: What do you say, for instance, here in the United States, I think it's only 16 percent of total board seats are held by women here. Now Norway, for instance, and Europe wants to require 40 percent of board members of public companies to be women. And the rest of Europe is thinking of following that model. You don't agree with quotas.

Do you?

GOUDIE: No. I don't agree with quotas, except in certain circumstances. In political terms, but that's a different issue. In boards, no. But in Europe, to make changes in boards, we have had board ethical changes that you can't be on a board for longer than two terms, which is six years. You can only be on a number of boards, not hundreds of boards.

And there is an age limit, slightly ageist, but 70-71, about your appointment onto boards. On public companies, for example, the BBC, hospital trusts, you get one term of five years. So you get the changeover.

At the same time, we have to look for the talent, who should be able to be trained to come into these positions. In the United Kingdom, we have seen enormous change in the last two years since we started the 30 Percent Club, to get 30 percent women on all FTSE 100 boards by 2015.

AMANPOUR: And very quickly, our final question, just a few seconds, women in emerging markets, China, India, elsewhere, can they be entrepreneurs?

GOUDIE: Of course. They are some of the best entrepreneurs we know. But what they have to have is the access to finance and also access for health and other care and also that they are treated equality as the men in those countries.

AMANPOUR: Baroness Goudie, thank you very much indeed for joining me.

GOUDIE: Thank you for having me this afternoon.

AMANPOUR: And we will continue this theme when we come back after a break.




AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. And turning now to how some very special women are making a difference in Somalia, after nearly two decades as a lawless and failed state, where Islamic militants, warlords and pirates have wreaked havoc, that East African nation is taking steps to restore governance and law and order.

But during Somalia's brutal civil war and the devastating famine that I covered, one woman emerged as an island of hope, fighting off Islamist militants and restoring peace for nearly 100,000 of Somalia's most needy.

She is Dr. Hawa Abdi, known in her village as Mama Hawa, who founded a free health clinic back in 1983. And when the Islamic militants, Al- Shabaab, recently banned international aid organizations from Somalia, her hospital became even more vital and it grew into a lifesaving refugee camp.

"Glamour" magazine once described Abdi as "equal parts Mother Teresa and Rambo," and she's been nominated even for a Nobel Peace Prize. She and her daughter, Dr. Deqo Mohamed, who also works in her mother's camp, they're both here in New York today for the Women in the World Summit, which is designed to try to find solutions for the problems that you guys fight every single day.

Dr. Abdi, welcome, and to you, Dr. Mohamed, as well.

Tell me why, how you first started this island of stability in your crazy country, as it was?

DR. HAWA ABDI, HEALER AND ACTIVIST: Thank you. The necessity is the mother of invention. My country became devastated. There was no law. There was no law and order. Even now, it's still not settled well.

AMANPOUR: What was the desperate need that you were trying to fill?

ABDI: Especially women and children and other people, they are suffering real (ph).

AMANPOUR: And you were giving them basically free health care.

ABDI: Free health care, free water, free land to live and sometimes if we get some relief, (inaudible) rations.

AMANPOUR: Dr. Deqo, you decided eventually to become a doctor and work with your mother. I just want to know did you have rules for your camp? Did you say -- what do you say about all these divisions, all these warlords? What did people have to do to be able to have access to your special camp?

DR. DEQO MOHAMED, HEALER AND ACTIVIST: Yes, we do have a rule. When you have that massive amount of people, population, you should create some rules and regulation to keep stability. And the first rule came in, it's for safety for everyone, because you had a clan division (ph). We had a clan (ph) clash. So we had to force there to say, you know, there's no clan (ph) division in this camp.

AMANPOUR: No clan warfare?

ABDI: No clan warfare at all.

MOHAMED: That's the only way we could survive. Then in the meantime, we discovered the violence is increasing; the domestic violence is increasing because to do all the crisis is going on. So second important rule we have, no domestic violence. No man can hit his wife or beat his children at all.

AMANPOUR: So that was a rule. You said you cannot beat your wife or your children, because that was so common?

MOHAMED: It was so common and so large.


AMANPOUR: And how did they react?

MOHAMED: In the beginning, of course, they react negatively. But then we say you're going to lose your land, that's your right. Basically then you stay for free and you have water and you have health care for free. But you will lose that all what you have if you don't do it.

AMANPOUR: And those rules, did that -- I don't know, did that make it sort of a civilized place to be?

MOHAMED: (Inaudible). It make a meantime. It made grow 20 years, you will become like the only state that have assistance set up in the whole area.

AMANPOUR: So a state within a failed state? A functioning state within a failed state.

Dr. Hawa, you had to face off the militants. I mean, what did they say when they saw what you were doing and they said basically move over, lady? I mean, do you know what you're doing? What did -- what did they say to you?

ABDI: They said that this -- the camp -- this big hospital ran a woman even old, it is impossible.

AMANPOUR: So they thought you just couldn't do it because you're a woman?

ABDI: Yes.

AMANPOUR: So what does that say to you, because we've been discussing throughout this program the effect that women can have, whether they're sitting around a negotiating table or at a bargaining table at a CEO level, or as you are doing, really being the sort of central providers? What role, do you think, women play in your society, Dr. Deqo?

MOHAMED: It's very crucial role in every society. And we don't understand the power we have. Woman has more than we think. We don't give ourself credit. We can be leaders. We can say no. We can lead the society and we can make rules.

AMANPOUR: And what do you say Human Rights Watch and others have said that a lot of these camps in Somalia are essentially being run by thugs and gangs who are gangraping women and controlling the camps as if they're their own personal fiefdoms?

That obviously hasn't happened to you.


ABDI: No, but we haven't seen that.

MOHAMED: Because of the region in many ways, we own the land and we have the freedom to lead the way we want. And camps become a business for many, many people. And people, they don't know where to go. They don't have homes, some of them. They lost their homes, some of them. They sold out their homes to survive for the last 20 years.

So the opportunity they have is to rent a small land. And in same terms get for exchange for food. When the food comes to distribution, this camp owner takes half or more to pay the rent. So they don't have a choice --


AMANPOUR: So they run it as sort of a gang there?

What is the most important thing, Dr. Hawa, that you feel you've been able to do through your hospital?

ABDI: I saved many lives with the help of the international organizations.

AMANPOUR: Dr. Hawa Abdi, Dr. Deqo Mohamed, thank you very much indeed.

MOHAMED: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And after a break, in the state where the Newtown massacre took place, a glimmer of sanity and hope today. The governor's pen is mightier than the assault weapon. That is when we return.




AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, we've been asking about the effect of women in positions of power in this world. Late last night, the state assembly of Connecticut, where women make up nearly 30 percent of the legislators, passed the strongest and most comprehensive gun legislation in all of America.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): In the very state where the Newtown massacre left 20 little children and six of their teachers dead last December, lawmakers have now expanded the ban on military-style assault weapons, limited the future sale of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds and required background checks for all firearm sales.


AMANPOUR: Last week on this program, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut issued a clarion call to his fellow lawmakers across the country to stand up for sensible gun control after what happened in Newtown.


MURPHY: I never thought this would happen in my community, in a sleepy little town like Newtown, Connecticut. It did.

And let me tell you, as a member of Congress, as a member of your community, you do not want to have to go through the pain that we are still living with today. Do everything within your power to make sure that you can tell your town if it ever gets struck by the kind of violence Newtown did, that you did everything to make sure that it couldn't happen.


AMANPOUR: And so on this day, Connecticut's Governor Malloy signed the new bill into law, joining New York and Colorado in passing gun control measures.

But before we assume that the tide is totally turning, 10 states have actually weakened gun restrictions. And even though 90 percent of Americans now favor measures such as universal background checks, the United States Congress remains fantastically out of step with those people who have elected them, failing to pass any new gun control law.

That is it for tonight's program. Meantime, you can always contact us on our website, and find us on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks for watching and goodbye from New York.