MANILA, Philippines – Twenty years after the historic United Nations (UN) conference on women in Beijing, former US Secretary Hillary Clinton said women are not yet fully empowered.
“Women’s full participation is the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” Clinton said in her speech at the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) event at the UN in New York on Tuesday , March 10 (US time).
In her historic speech at the 1995 conference, Clinton, then the US First Lady, echoed the battle cry of the participants: “Women’s rights are human rights; human rights are women’s rights.”
Clinton said at the WEP gathering “rights have to exist in practice not just on paper.”
Citing data from the “No Ceilings Full Participation Report,” Clinton said change has been far too slow in various areas, including women’s economic participation, leadership, and security.
The report, which can be accessed at the data visualization site NoCeilings.org, highlighted the following information:
- Women work more hours a day without pay
- The US is one of 9 countries worldwide that doesn’t provide for paid maternity leave
- We don’t have enough female executives
- One in 3 women suffers physical or sexual violence
- Women have unequal Internet access
The report, a collaboration between the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was released on March 9, a day after the celebration of the International Women’s Day.
Despite the hurdles in achieving gender equality, Clinton said “there has never been a better time in history to be born female.” – Rappler.com
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