About the Author: Radhika Prabhu serves in the Office of Global Women's Issues.
The day after an evening reception with Secretary Clinton, 13 of the 213 distinguished Hubert Humphrey Fellows returned to the Department of State. Sitting down for a candid roundtable discussion moderated by Diane Kelly, Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Global Women's Issues, they gained a perspective on how that office works with partners around the world to promote women's empowerment, increase women's access to health, and strengthen their rights.
Sharing the vision of the future of women's advancement with the room of distinguished mid-career leaders from government, the NGO community, business and professions hailing from 11 countries, Ms. Kelly highlighted how “out of the box” thinking in government is being used to advance women's issues. For instance, mobile phone technology can be used to combat violence against women and educate the public about it. Public-private partnerships can be leveraged in an environment when dollars are increasingly scarce. And business -- not only government and NGOs -- has a large place at the table in advancing women's rights.
Although more and more people around the world are recognizing that "women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights," it will take a multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary effort to ensure that women around the world are able to experience that as a norm rather than an aspiration. Dialogue that brings together diverse stakeholders -- whether a young man from India working to prevent trafficking of women or the CEO of an agribusiness firm in Kyrgyzstan -- to share ideas and create links among people in government and on the ground is a prerequisite to fostering the impetus force required to make sure it happens.
Secretary Clinton's remarks to the Humphrey Fellows are available here.