Friday, September 4, 2015

Hillary News & Views 9.4: Women's Rights are Human Rights

Today's Hillary News & Views leads off with Hillary herself reflecting on her landmark Beijing speech in 1995.

All week, her campaign has been showcasing videos marking the twentieth anniversary of that speech, but this is the first time I'm leading off a post with one of them.

Check out this video of Clinton and fellow U.S. delegate Ginger Lew reflecting on the speech's impact. A transcript of both of their comments follows:
Hillary Clinton:
What inspires me is that of all of the women who heard that message - in the room, in the hallways, and eventually around the world - so many made it their life's work.
And because of them, we've seen the progress that's possible in a single generation. I worked very hard to give voice to those that were otherwise silent.
And I was very gratified that the speech became a rallying cry.
Ginger Lew:
That one line - "Women's rights are human rights" - got embedded in the Beijing declaration, which was adopted by 189 countries.
This provided the path forward for many of these women leaders in countries throughout the world. To demand that their would be political change, that there would be policy changes in those countries.
What was one of the most amazing parts of being in the conference hall when she made her speech was that, despite the thousand or more people in that meeting hall, that it also felt so intimate. That she was inspiring us, and yet challenging us to move forward on this fundamental principle.
Lew wrote a piece reflecting further on that day:
As Hillary began her remarks, it was clear she was not going to shy away from talking about the abusive treatment of women around the world.
When she came to that now-historic line — “If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all” — the hall erupted.
In a single sentence, she had captured all the reasons we were gathered in Beijing. I knew we were watching history being made.
The women in the room were standing and clapping and hugging one another. And after the speech, delegates from around the world came up to thank me, simply because I represented the United States. Some reached out to touch my arm, as if the magic of America would rub off on them.
Twenty years later, Hillary’s words are still forceful, powerful, and important. And that’s because it was a speech from the heart. Hillary spoke with conviction, and her passion and commitment to addressing these issues — to shining a bright light on centuries of abuse toward women.
It was genuine, it rang true and that’s why it continues to be so powerful.
She didn’t shirk from exposing deplorable practices, whether it was forced sterilization or dowry deaths.
Her courage to speak out — to speak the truth — gave millions of women a voice to confront leaders in their own countries.
One speech elevated women’s rights onto the international political arena at the highest levels of government around the world.
A transcript and a video of the speech in its entirety:

Clinton will sit down with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC today at 12 PM EST to discuss, among other things, the twentieth anniversary of the Beijing speech.

Once again, Clinton used Twitter on #ThrowbackThursday to showcase retrograde GOP policies. How cool is the soundtrack to this series of tweets?
She also stated her support for speaking in your native language and made clear, in case there was any doubt, where she stands on the recently jailed Kentucky clerk:
That's all for today, but I'm hoping to get a transcript up of Clinton's speech tomorrow in New Hampshire. Thanks for another great week of participation in the comments!
For more on Hillary Clinton's campaign for the presidency, check out…

The Hillary 2016 Platform Series  

Part 1: Criminal Justice Reform  
Part 2: Immigration Reform  
Part 3: Voting Rights

Unfiltered Hillary: The Transcripts

August 14, 2015: Iowa Wing Ding Dinner
July 31, 2015: National Urban League
July 20, 2015: Facebook Q&A
July 17, 2015: Iowa State Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner
April 23, 2015: Women in the World Summit

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