Giving Voice to the Voiceless

Posted by Melanne Verveer
May 4, 2009
Secretary Clinton Meets With Iraqi Women

About the Author: Ambassador-at-Large Melanne Verveer serves as director of the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.

Secretary Clinton greeted ten emerging leaders from Iraq, participants in an International Visitor Leadership Program sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Office of Global Women’s Issues joined in an interagency roundtable with the delegation and spoke to them about their work promoting the political, economic, and social empowerment of Iraqi women, and welcomed back Suaad Allami, who came to Washington at the beginning of March to receive an International Women of Courage award from Secretary Clinton.

Ms. Allami happily reported that the Secretary remembered her, but quickly turned serious in discussing her work establishing Women’s Centers in Sadr City, which she called “giving voice to the voiceless.” Without the awards program and other U.S. programs, she said, “I couldn’t be as I am now. I value myself now.” She expressed the hope that the others in her program would experience a similar benefit, so that they could better serve the causes and people they represent.

From Washington, this group of parliamentarians, government officials, journalists, and NGO leaders travels to New York and New Jersey, where they will have a seminar with faculty from the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. From there, they travel to California and then Texas, for meetings on state politics, elections, boosting volunteerism, and fostering leadership in girls and young women.

Many members of the group are visiting the United States for the first time. While they look forward to experiencing a diverse cross-section of American culture as part of their program, all are single-minded about their goals. “This is a golden opportunity,” one participant, a government official, said, adding that she tries to stress the need for concrete support for projects in Iraq in all her meetings.



May 4, 2009

Rose P. writes:

People need the knowledge and the access and then they can do miracles as god created them equal to god's essence!

Good work Hilary Clinton; Now I know you have read my book and put it to work for you are a changed woman yourself from being a cheerleader to your husband to a statewoman of your own Smart Power!!!!!!! We love you at the Rose Village!

May 4, 2009

Phibi in Canada writes:

Yes! It's good to see this getting some attention. Support is needed to improve the situation and the exposure is a good thing. Thank you.

District Of Columbia, USA
May 5, 2009

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

Ms. Allami is truly an inspiration. Thank you for sharing her story. I'm so glad to see our government and Rutgers University supporting these types of programs.

South Korea
May 5, 2009

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Hi, (it`s not correct this topic)

i see this video,

Remarks on Foreign Affairs Day
May 1, 2009

Sec Hillary, catch a cold? or having ill? (Sec`s face looks haggard. although, clothing looks good.)

oh, no please take care health. so many people watching and waiting Sec`s do.

William S.
May 5, 2009

William S. in Australia writes:

What a great idea. The more we can bring our cultures together the better the long-term future for us and Iraq.

May 5, 2009

Hong in China writes:

You pay more attention to the life in Iraq. Not just only care the minor part of people! Hoping your great effort


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