Secretary Clinton speaks out against sexual and gender-based violence.
Yesterday, Secretary Clinton gave opening remarks at the Combating Violence Against Girls Event hosted by the Government of the Netherlands during the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Next week, Secretary Clinton will chair a Security Council session on the epidemic of sexual violence against women and girls in conflict zones, and the United States will introduce a resolution to strengthen efforts to curb these atrocities and hold all those who commit them accountable. Secretary Clinton said:
"I want to start by saying something that I believe with all my heart, and, obviously, those of you who are here believe it also, that the issues related to girls and women are not an annex to the important business of the world and the United Nations, they’re not an add-on, they’re not an afterthought; they are truly at the core of what we are attempting to do under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that is the guiding message of this organization and what each of us in our own countries is called to do on behalf of equal opportunity and social justice.
So for me, this is a tremendous opportunity to speak about an issue that has basically been relegated to the backwaters of the international agenda until relatively recently: violence against girls and women, and particularly today, violence against girls.
I wish that we could transport ourselves into a setting where we could be in the midst of girls and women who have been suffering from violence, but we don’t have to because it’s all around us. It is in the home, it is in the workplace, it is on the streets of many of the countries represented here.... And it is in the places that make the headlines from time to time, and then in the very bottom paragraphs, there’s a reference to the violence that is a tactic of war and intimidation and oppression to prevent girls from going to school by throwing acid in their faces, by raping girls as a way of intimidating them and keeping them subjugated and demonstrating power.
So this, for me, is one of the most important events that I’ve done at the UN."
Read the Secretary's full remarks here.
You may also read the Secretary's op-ed on her visit to Goma, where some 1,100 rapes are reported each month, and how the United States is responding to sexual and gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.