As Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said, "The United States continues to make women a cornerstone of our foreign policy. It's not just the right thing to do. It's the smart thing. Women and girls drive our economies. They build peace and prosperity. Investing in them means investing in global economic progress, political stability, and greater prosperity for everyone-the world over. So let us ...[find] ways to ensure women and girls' access to education, healthcare, jobs, and credit, and to protect their right to live free from violence."
This week, Secretary Clinton commented on the U.S. Senate resolution calling for a focus on women's rights in the Middle East and North Africa, saying, "I thank Senator Snowe and all the women Senators for shining a spotlight on the critical role women continue to play in the dramatic events sweeping North Africa and the Middle East. I fully agree that women must be included in every aspect of political and institutional reform, because we know that no government can succeed if half its population is excluded from the process. This resolution underscores our current efforts to build capacity for good governance, allow all citizens to participate, and ensure that the human rights of all, including those of women, are respected.”
Also this week, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer announced the Propelling Women's Entrepreneurship in Pakistan (PWEP) Mentorship Program, supporting Pakistani women entrepreneurs in expanding and strengthening their businesses by connecting them with successful, professional women mentors.
A champion for women and children, Geraldine Ferraro, passed away this week. Secretary Clinton said: "Gerry Ferraro was one of a kind--tough, brilliant, and never afraid to speak her mind or stand up for what she believed in -- a New York icon and a true American original. She was a champion for women and children and for the idea that there should be no limits on what every American can achieve. The daughter of an Italian immigrant family, she rose to become the first woman ever nominated to the national ticket by a major political party. She paved the way for a generation of female leaders and put the first cracks in America's political glass ceiling. She believed passionately that politics and public service was about making a difference for the people she represented as a congresswoman and Ambassador.
"For us, Gerry was above all a friend and companion. From the rough-and-tumble of political campaigns to the important work of international diplomacy, we were honored to have her by our side. She was a tireless voice for human rights and helped lead the American delegation to the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Through it all, she was a loyal friend, trusted confidante, and valued colleague."
You can read Secretary Clinton's complete remarks here.