News / USA

    Clinton Launches 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the '100 Women Initiative' at the State Department in Washington,  March 7, 2011
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the '100 Women Initiative' at the State Department in Washington, March 7, 2011

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday launched the "100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges" on the eve of the100th anniversary of International Women's Day, which marks the economic, political and social achievements of women.

    One hundred women from 92 countries gathered at the State Department to begin a three-week professional exchange program in the United States.

    Secretary Clinton told them that investing in women is the right thing and can help alleviate problems like poverty and hunger. "For me, investing in women and girls is smart. It pays off," she said.

    She called the women "pioneers" in business, academics, civil society and government, and she said their actions inspire her and others.

    Clinton also recognized the achievements of some of the participants. "Raquel Fernandez from Paraguay connects with women and girls trapped in a life of servitude," she said. "In Sudan, Aisha Humad, where's Aisha? Aisha is empowering women by teaching them to stand up for themselves and to stand up for their own rights."

    The women are taking part in the International Visitor Leadership Program, which brings 5,200 current and emerging leaders to the United States to engage with their American peers and to experience life in the United States.

    Clinton has long worked to make women's rights a key U.S. foreign policy issue, when she was first lady in the 1990s and now as secretary of state.  Monday was the first of a series of events that will be held during the coming year to highlight key foreign policy issues that directly affect women and girls worldwide.

    Clinton called the women "ambassadors" for their countries.  She said government relations are not the only way to deal with global challenges.
    "Ultimately, I think it is people-to-people relationships that make a difference and that can really give you the strength to keep going through very difficult times," said Clinton.

    After Clinton's speech, the women asked questions of Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale, Assistant Secretary of Education Ann Stock and Clinton's chief of staff Cheryl Mills.

    One woman from Latin America left the panelists momentarily speechless.

    "Do you think now that your country is ready for a woman as a president?  I am not sure any of the three of us should answer that," she said.

    Clinton's chief of staff Cheryl Mills said she does not think the U.S. is quite ready to elect a woman as head of state.

    "I certainly think it is the case that our country demonstrated ably in the last election that they are more than willing to support women in a leadership role and more than willing to actually see a woman as their leader," said Mills. "But I think for getting over that final hurdle, I think we are a little bit away."

    Secretary Clinton was a U.S. senator when she campaigned for president in 2008.  She lost the Democratic Party nomination to her then-Senate colleague Barack Obama.

    The 100th anniversary of International Women's Day is Tuesday.  Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama will mark the day by honoring 10 women from around the world with the International Women of Courage Awards at a ceremony in Washington.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora