Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Secretary of State and First Lady Honor 'Women of Courage'

This afternoon Secretary Clinton hosted an event at the State Department honoring eight women who have displayed incredible courage in the fight for human rights in their homelands today. Read the full list here.

During her remarks, Hillary underscored the administration's determination to defend the rights of women around the world. She said:

"We simply cannot solve the global problems confronting us from a worldwide financial crisis to the risks of climate change to chronic hunger, disease and poverty that sap the energies and talents of hundreds of millions of people when half the world's population is left behind."

She also introduced First Lady Michelle Obama, who spoke at the event as well. Clinton said:

"Now, I know a little bit about the role that – (laughter) – Michelle Obama is filling now. And I have to say that in a very short time, she has, through her grace and her wisdom, become an inspiration to women and girls not only in the United States, but around the world. And it is so fitting that she would join us here at the State Department to celebrate the achievements of other extraordinary women, and to show her commitment to supporting women and girls around the globe. She understands, as we all do here at the State Department, that the status of women and girls is a key indicator of whether or not progress is possible in a society."
First Lady Michelle Obama told the gathering that they are an inspiration. "This is how real change occurs -- one determined woman at a time. And change is coming," she said.

Malaysian lawyer and human rights activist Ambiga Sreenevasan spoke on behalf of all eight recipients of the Secretary of State's Award for International Women of Courage. "Ours is a message of hope that something has been achieved, despite the odds," she said.

Earlier today, President Barack Obama honored American women of accomplishment at the White House and signed an executive order creating a White House Council on Women and Girls. Which is basically the same thing as the White House Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach program that was implemented under President Clinton and taken away by President Bush. It's wonderful news that this has been reinstated! Also, since I am on the topic of women, legislation to create a Presidential Commission on Women is moving forward in Congress.

Read the full remarks here or watch the video of the event from the State Department:

Watch the MSNBC report:


Anonymous said...

Hillary is much too kind to Michelle Obama. Hillary has never said anything unkind Of her unlike Michelle of Hillary.

PYW said...

I agree, Anonymous. But that's the kind of person Hillary is, as we well know.

Hillary Clinton Army said...

This is all very exciting! strong women rock!

Sarah said...

Hillary was so kind to her yesterday, as she has ALWAYS been. I'm proud of the her and the fact that there is no drama with the Obamas.

and yes, props to all the courageous women they awarded!

Anonymous said...

Hillary is a class act, as everybody knows. But that's enough pictures of Michelle now, please!!

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