Friday, March 20, 2009

Hillary Clinton = Global Trailblazer

Vital Voices, one of the leading non-governmental organizations that trains and empowers women leaders in emerging democracies, recognized Hillary Clinton last night at the Global Leadership Awards, held at the Kennedy Center, for her long-time commitment to empowering women around the world.

Secretary Clinton was there to accept the organization's "Global Trailblazer" award for "her passionate commitment to promoting women's rights and securing justice for all people around the world." The award was presented to her by a former political opponent during Clinton's time in the U.S. Senate, Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Hutchinson said this:

"Vital Voices is all about uniting women and working together for positive change. Hillary Clinton has reached out to bring people around this common cause and has used her powerful voice to raise the voices of all women. ... As presidential candidate last year, she made 18 million cracks in the ceiling and inspired women all over the world. As secretary of State, she is putting women's rights at the top of her agenda."

Hillary responded in return:

"I want to thank Kay for being such a wonderful colleague and friend. I will do what I can to champion these issues and to use my own voice in support of women who raise their voices. [Government and leaders]realize that no nation can be successful if it invests only in and listens only to one half of the population."
The full list of the 2009 Global Leadership Award recipients are as follows: Somaly Mam of Cambodia, receiving the "Human Rights Award" for her work with victims of human trafficking and creation of the organization AFESIP, "Acting for Women in Distressing Circumstances." Founded in Cambodia in 1997, AFESIP has since expanded to Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

Temituokpe Esisi of Nigeria, receiving the "10,000 Women Unlocking Economic Potential Award" for entrepreneurial skills cultivated in her home city of Lagos. After earning her bachelor's degree in Law, Esisi established her own fashion design company and completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Scholarship program.

Marceline Kongolog-Bice of the Democratic Republic of Congo, receiving the "Fern Holland Award" for the creation of "SOS Femmes en Dangers," which works to heal and rehabilitate rape victims, educate women on their rights, provide defense tactics and give a voice to silenced victims.

Chouchou Namegabe Nabintu of the Democratic Republic of Congo, also receiving the "Fern Holland Award." Nabintu uses her broadcast journalism skills as a weapon against government corruption and injustices against women.

Sadiqa Basiri Saleem of Afghanistan, receiving the "Rising Voices Award" for the founding of the Oruj Learning Center which provides women an education they had been denied.

And of course: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, receiving the "Global Trailblazer Award" for her long-time commitment to empowering women around the world.

The Kennedy Center was packed with star power. In addition to the recipients of the awards the award presenters included Ben Affleck, Zain Verjee, Pierre Vimont, Nina Totenberg, Don and Rhoda Glickman, Juleanna Glover, Dal Magna, Wolf Blitzer, Betsy Fischer, Andrea Mitchell, Tammy Haddad, Val Dem, Sidney Blumental, Claire Shipman, Charlie Rose and Dina Powell... and probably many more. But reports are saying that the night, in every way, belonged to Clinton. Beginning with a touching video tribute and capped with a standing ovation that lasted nearly two minutes when she appeared on stage.

But Ben Affleck did get a nice round of applause for this great statement: "As along as violence against women—sexual or otherwise—remains strictly and exclusvely a 'women's issue' it will always be an issue. We men must own this and we must recognize that it is vital to our own survival and we must help our brothers see it as such."

1 comment:

Hillary Clinton Army said...

Great story, yea Hillary!

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