Friday, March 12, 2010

Hillary Clinton calls for gender equality

At the UN Conference in Beijing Hillary Rodham Clinton repeats her call for gender equality.

"In 1995, in one voice, the world declared: human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights," Clinton said, recalling her own words in Beijing that were met by cheers from several thousand delegates.

However, Clinton said women are still the majority of the world's poor, uneducated, unhealthy and hungry, and they are victims of a "global pandemic" of violent attacks including rape. Women are also the majority of the world's farmers, but are often barred from owning the land they tend, and they suffer the consequences of armed conflicts even though they rarely cause them, she said.

"In too many places, women are treated not as full and equal human beings with their own rights and aspirations, but as lesser creatures undeserving of the treatment and respect accorded to their husbands, fathers and sons," Clinton said.

She was loudly applauded when she drew on her Beijing words and issued a new challenge.

"We must declare with one voice that women's progress is human progress and human progress is women's progress, once and for all," Clinton said.

This principle is "at the heart" of U.S. foreign policy, she said, stressing that "the subjugation of women" threatens U.S. security and "the common security of our world because the suffering of women and the instability of nations go hand in hand."

However, the comments question how US foreign policy supports conflicts that hurt women...

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