News / USA

Clinton Announces Initiatives to Benefit Women



Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has outlined several new initiatives to empower women around the world, through technology training, public-private partnerships and grants, and a planned entrepreneurship summit specifically for women.

The morning after a major entrepreneurship conference wrapped in Washington, Clinton spoke at a breakfast for women from around the world who attended that summit.

Clinton, one of the world's most powerful women, told the story of a woman she once met at a craft market in Nepal.  The secretary said the woman had not been allowed to leave her home after her marriage, until her husband was injured and could no longer earn a living.  With the family in a dire situation, the woman had to ask her husband and mother-in-law for permission to sell the tapestries and crafts she could produce.

"As a result of her talent and her skill, she now employed two other weavers, and she now is sending her children to school, and they had added on to their home.  And I said, 'So what do your husband and your mother-in-law think now?' She said, 'They think it's good.'"

Clinton said the United States is making women a focus of its foreign-policy agenda.  The goal is to change attitudes about women, she said, and to address the challenges they face.  

With that in mind, she outlined several new initiatives aimed at empowering women.  One program provides mentoring and technology training to women in the Middle East and North Africa.  There is a planned women's entrepreneurship summit in Japan.  And there are public-private grants to invest in economic empowerment, combat violence against women and improve access to education and health care.

The major announcement was the launch of the "Secretary's Innovation Award for Women's and Girls' Empowerment."  Up to $500,000 each will go to two applicants who can offer pioneering solutions to empower the world's women and girls - politically, economically and socially.

"We hope to receive entries that describe how specific innovations have  improved the lives of women and girls, and proposals for how they can be scaled up and applied more broadly," Clinton added.  

The awards are funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.  Judith Rodin of the Rockefeller Foundation said finding innovative ideas and expanding them to a large scale has proven to be hugely effective.  She stressed that gender inequality needs to be tackled urgently.

"Women still do two-thirds of all the work in the world, but earn only about five percent of the income," said Rodin.  "They harvest 90 percent of the world's food, yet they own only one percent of the world's land.  And women are three times as likely as men to work in informal economies, and therefore abuse, sex trafficking and the absence of legal rights and protections for women are still unacceptably commonplace in so many places around the world."

Rodin said the first two awards will be given out this year.  More information about the submission and selection process can be found on the State Department's Web site, on its Office of Global Women's Issues page.

The State Department says programs that include men and boys also are eligible for the awards program, because educating men can be an important part of empowering women and girls.

You May Like

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs