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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
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.
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.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid