News / USA

Clinton Announces Initiatives to Benefit Women

Multimedia

Audio

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 British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid