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Clinton writes: "Today, I want to focus on one aspect of peacemaking that too often goes overlooked - the role of women in ending conflict and building lasting security. Some of you may have watched a week ago Saturday as three remarkable women - two from Liberia, one from Yemen - accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. For years, many of us have tried to show the world that women are not just victims of war; they are agents of peace."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at London Conference on Libya, 03/29/11. (photo: Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at London Conference on Libya, 03/29/11. (photo: Getty Images)

Women, Peace, and Security

By Secretary Hillary Clinton, Reader Supported News

23 December 11


oday, I want to focus on one aspect of peacemaking that too often goes overlooked - the role of women in ending conflict and building lasting security. Some of you may have watched a week ago Saturday as three remarkable women - two from Liberia, one from Yemen - accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. For years, many of us have tried to show the world that women are not just victims of war; they are agents of peace. And that was the wisdom behind the historic UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which was adopted a decade ago but whose promise remains largely unfulfilled. So it was deeply heartening to see those three women command the global spotlight and urge the international community to adopt an approach to making peace that includes women as full and equal partners.

And that call was underscored this past Thursday when hundreds of leaders and activists gathered at the State Department to launch a new partnership with America's top women's colleges to train and support women and girls going into public service around the world. And of course, those women were incredibly impressive and some were quite courageous. One took me aside and said that she hadn't gotten permission from her government to come, but she came anyway. They are so eager to pour their talents and energy into their communities and to make their countries even better. They are ready to work for peace, enter politics, serve in the military, lead civil society, live up to their own God-given potential. They just need the opportunity.

And that is why, in a speech that I delivered in New York on Friday night, I highlighted the growing body of evidence that shows how women around the world contribute to making and keeping peace, and that these contributions lead to better outcomes for entire societies. From Northern Ireland to Liberia to Nepal and many places in between, we have seen that when women participate in peace processes, they focus discussion on issues like human rights, justice, national reconciliation, and economic renewal that are critical to making peace, but often are overlooked in formal negotiations. They build coalitions across ethnic and sectarian lines, and they speak up for other marginalized groups. They act as mediators and help to foster compromise. And when women organize in large numbers, they galvanize opinion and help change the course of history.

Think of those remarkable women in Liberia who marched and sang and prayed until their countries' warring factions finally agreed to end their conflict and move toward democracy. If you have seen the movie - and if you haven't, I highly recommend it - it's called Pray The Devil Back To Hell - you know that these brave women literally laid siege to the negotiations until the men inside the rooms signed a deal.

Now I know some of you may be thinking to yourself, “Well, there she goes again. Hillary Clinton always talks about women, and why should I or anyone else really care?” Well, you should care because this is not just a woman's issue. It cannot be relegated to the margins of international affairs. It truly does cut to the heart of our national security and the security of people everywhere, because the sad fact is that the way the international community tries to build peace and security today just isn't getting the job done. Dozens of active conflicts are raging around the world, undermining regional and global stability, and ravaging entire populations. And more than half of all peace agreements fail within five years.

At the same time, women are too often excluded from both the negotiations that make peace and the institutions that maintain it. Now of course, some women wield weapons of war - that's true - and many more are victims of it. But too few are empowered to be instruments of peace and security. That is an unacceptable waste of talent and of opportunity for the rest of us as well. Across the Middle East and North Africa, nations are emerging from revolution and beginning the transition to democracy. And here too, women are being excluded and increasingly even targeted.

Recent events in Egypt have been particularly shocking. Women are being beaten and humiliated in the same streets where they risked their lives for the revolution only a few short months ago. And this is part of a deeply troubling pattern. Egyptian women have been largely shut out of decision-making in the transition by both the military authorities and the major political parties. At the same time, they have been specifically targeted both by security forces and by extremists.

Marchers celebrating International Women's Day were harassed and abused. Women protesters have been rounded up and subjected to horrific abuse. Journalists have been sexually assaulted. And now, women are being attacked, stripped, and beaten in the streets. This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonors the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform, and is not worthy of a great people. As some Egyptian politicians and commentators have themselves noted, a new democracy cannot be built on the persecution of women, nor can any stable society. Whether it's ending conflict, managing a transition, or rebuilding a country, the world cannot afford to continue ignoring half the population. Not only can we do better; we have to do better, and now we have a path forward as to how we will do better.

That is why this morning, President Obama signed an Executive Order launching the first-ever U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security - a comprehensive roadmap for accelerating and institutionalizing efforts across the United States Government to advance women's participation in making and keeping peace. This plan builds on the President's national security strategy, and it was jointly developed by the Departments of State and Defense, USAID, and others with guidance from the White House. I also want to take a moment to recognize all our partners in civil society and the private sector who contributed, many of whom are here today. Without your on-the-ground experience, your passionate commitment, and your tireless effort, this plan would not exist, and we look forward to working just as closely together with you on implementing it.

Let me describe briefly how we will do that. The plan lays out five areas in which we will redouble our efforts. First, we will partner with women in vulnerable areas to prevent conflicts from breaking out in the first place. Women are bellwethers of society and, in fact, sometimes they do play the role of canary in the coal mine. They know when communities are fraying and when citizens fear for their safety. Studies suggest that women's physical security and higher levels of gender equality correlate with security and peacefulness of entire countries. But political leaders too often overlook women's knowledge and experience until it's too late to stop violence from spiraling out of control.

So the United States will invest in early warning systems that incorporate gender analysis and monitor increases in violence and discrimination against women, which can be indicators of future conflict. We will also support grassroots women's organizations that work to stop violence and promote peace. And because women's economic empowerment leads to greater prosperity for their societies, we are putting women and girls at the center of our global efforts on food security, health, and entrepreneurship. We are working to lower barriers to their economic participation so more women in more places have the opportunity to own their land, start their businesses, access markets, steps that will ultimately lift up not only their families but entire economies and societies.

But what if, despite our best efforts, conflict does flare? A second focus of our National Action Plan is strengthening protection for women and girls during and after conflict. We will work with partners on the ground to crack down on rape as a tactic of war, hold perpetrators of violence accountable, and support survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

Now one place to start is with the poorly trained soldiers and police who contribute to a culture of lawlessness, of violence and impunity, and often are fueled by discrimination against any woman outside their family. The United States will help build the capacity of foreign militaries, police forces, and justice systems to strengthen the rule of law and ensure that protecting civilians and stopping sexual and gender-based violence in particular is a shared priority. We are also working with the UN to recruit more female peacekeepers, to better train all peacekeepers to prevent, predict, and react to violence against civilians, and to address the political dynamics that drive sexual violence in conflict areas, because it's not just soldiers. Political leaders, local influentials set the tone for these abuses, and they must be held accountable as well.

The United States will support survivors of violence and help give them new tools to report crimes and access shelters, rehabilitation centers, legal support, and other services. We will also back advocacy organizations that reach out to men and boys, including religious and tribal leaders, to reduce sexual and gender-based violence in homes and communities.

I worked some years ago with citizens in Senegal to end the practice of female circumcision, and we made the case on the basis that it was bad for the health of the future mothers of Senegal. And we were able to convince tribal and religious leaders to join our cause, and it's that kind of programmatic approach that we want to see more of.

Now ultimately, the best way to protect citizens is to end the conflict itself. So a third focus of the National Action Plan is expanding women's participation in peace processes and decision-making institutions before, during, and after conflicts. As I explained in my speech on Friday in New York, women bring critical perspectives and concerns to the peace table, and can help shape stronger and more durable agreements.

Take just one example. During 2006 peace negotiations in Darfur, male negotiators deadlocked over the control of a particular river until local women, who have the experience of fetching water and washing clothes, pointed out that the river had already dried up. (Laughter.) Yeah, I know. I particularly like that one, too. (Laughter.)

Excluding women means excluding the entire wealth of knowledge, experience, and talent we can offer. So the United States will use the full weight of our diplomacy to push combatants and mediators to include women as equal partners in peace negotiations. We will work with civil society to help women and other leaders give voice to the voiceless. And we will also help countries affected by conflict design laws, policies, and practices that promote gender equality so that women can be partners in rebuilding their societies after the violence ends.

And that brings me to the fourth focus of our plan - ensuring that relief and recovery efforts address the distinct needs of women and girls who are the linchpins of families and communities and invaluable partners in stabilizing countries scarred by conflict. This is crucial because humanitarian crises caused by conflict can be just as dangerous as the fighting itself and can sow the seeds of future instability. Women are often among the most vulnerable in crises, yet they rarely receive a proportionate share of assistance or have the chance to help set post-conflict priorities. But with the right tools and support, women can lead recovery efforts and help get their communities back on their feet.

So the United States will encourage our international partners to include women and civil society organizations in the design and implementation of relief efforts and reconstruction planning. We will designate gender advisors for all USAID crisis response and recovery teams, and these advisors will highlight the specific concerns of women and girls to ensure that their perspectives are solicited and incorporated in the design and implementation of our programs. Refugees and other displaced people are highly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, including sexual violence. So we will prioritize prevention and response to sexual violence, along with other lifesaving humanitarian assistance, and help build critical services such as food distribution, emergency education, cash-for-work programs, and health centers around women and their needs, including reproductive and maternal healthcare.

Small steps can have a big impact. For example, I've talked with women who walk long distances from their refugee camps to find wood for their cooking fires, putting them at great risk of assault and rape. I remember being in the very large camp in Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. And all the women told me the same thing - that they were in this camp where there were many international NGOs and humanitarian relief organizations, but they were still having to go out on their own to find wood, to make sure that they had an adequate supply of fuel, and they were subject to attack when they left the camp. And it struck me as sort of strange that here we had all these people; couldn't we organize either teams of people to help the women as they went out and to protect them, or was there a better way that we could pursue to really eliminate this problem?

So we are supporting a global effort to provide cleaner and safer stoves that require less fuel and, therefore, fewer trips through dangerous territory. The Clean Cookstoves Global Alliance that we are at the center of creating and expanding is doing research with the National Institutes of Health because this is a three-for-one investment. Yes, women don't have to stray so far from home or from a refugee camp to have fuel to cook the family's food. Secondly, children and women will not be dying from respiratory diseases which are, unfortunately, the byproduct of breathing that smoke all day every day, sometimes in very confined spaces. And thirdly, we will cut down on black carbon and black soot, which is good for the environment. So we're very focused on bringing this to scale over the next years, and we have a lot of support in doing so.

Now, I realize that this National Action Plan lays out an ambitious agenda that will require a lot of concentrated and coordinated effort. So the fifth focus is institutionalizing this work across the United States Government. As part of this process, we will increase training for our troops, diplomats, and development experts on international human rights and humanitarian law, protecting civilians, preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence, and combating trafficking-in-persons. We will update policies and practices across our government, because our goal is to fundamentally change the way we do business.

The President's Executive Order directs key departments and agencies to develop comprehensive strategies to implement the National Action Plan within five months. And let me offer a few specific examples of what this will look like. At the State Department, we have already begun a new initiative on women, peace, and security in Africa, focused on building local capacity in countries affected by conflict. Its first round of grants will train women activists and journalists in Kenya in early-warning systems for violence, support a new trauma center for rape survivors in Sudan, help women in the Central African Republic access legal and economic services, and improve collection of medical evidence for prosecution of gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

And that's just the beginning, because around the world, from Iraq and Afghanistan, to South Sudan, the new transitional democracies in the Middle East and North Africa, our embassies are developing local strategies to empower women politically, economically, and socially.

At USAID, among other projects, we will be launching a new Global Women's Leadership Fund in partnership with the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening. This will train women activists and civil society leaders and support their participation in peace negotiations, political transitions, and democratic institutions. And we're also stepping up our efforts to combat human trafficking in conflict zones.

The Department of Defense, which helped develop the National Action Plan, will have a lead role in implementing it. The fact that both Sandy Winnefeld and Michele Flournoy are here reflects the lessons our nation's military has learned in the last ten years and its deep understanding about the links between the security and agency of women and the peace and stability of nations. So by working with partner militaries, the Pentagon will build on the excellent work already underway in places like Afghanistan - where our Provincial Reconstruction Teams engage with communities to curb violence against women, honor killings, and female immolation - and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where AFRICOM experts are training local soldiers to protect human rights and prevent sexual and gender-based violence.

And I'm very proud that we have several female flag and general officers with us today, living proof of how important women are to American national security. In today's military, women are leading carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups, and numbered air forces. They are on the frontlines, defending our country, responding to disasters, and working with our allies and our partners.

And other parts of our government are also stepping forward. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching a new system to monitor sexual and gender-based violence in nearly 20 countries. The Department of Justice is working with police, prosecutors, judges, and jail workers around the world to increase accountability for sexual violence and human trafficking. And the list goes on. Suffice it to say, this is truly a whole-of-government effort as well as an international effort.

And the National Action Plan will help us work with allies and partners here at home as well as abroad, and I'm delighted by the announcement, President DeGioia and Dean Lancaster, about Georgetown's leadership. There couldn't be a better institution to lead the way in the academic work that is necessary around these issues. And in fact, more than 30 countries have already developed their own national action plans.

NATO is factoring women and their needs into key planning processes and training courses, stationing gender experts throughout operational headquarters, and deploying female engagement teams to Afghanistan, where the alliance is also training local women to serve in the security forces. In 2012, 10 percent of the Afghan military academy's class will be women, and by 2014 Afghanistan expects to field 5,000 women Afghan national police officers.

The United Nations is also making important progress, building on Resolution 1325. With strong U.S. support, the Security Council has already adopted four additional resolutions on women and security in just the past three years. And last month, the General Assembly's Third Committee adopted a new U.S.-led resolution to encourage greater political participation for women and an expanded role in making and keeping peace. And the establishment of a new organization within the UN system focused on gender called UN Women, headed by the former President of Chile Michele Bachelet is also making this an important focus. And the Secretary General has appointed a special representative for sexual violence in conflict - a step we strongly supported - and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has steadily improved its guidance to peacekeeping in order to offer protection and leadership as key training components.

Now, why is all this happening, all these countries, the United Nations, NATO, and certainly us? Well, the reason is because we are convinced. We have enough anecdotal evidence and research that demonstrates women in peacekeeping is both the right thing to do and the smart thing, as well. It's right, because, after all, women are affected disproportionately by conflict; they deserve to participate in the decisions that shape their own lives. And it's the smart thing because we have seen again and again that women participating in these processes builds more durable peace.

But as strong as the case is, it's true that the question of just how women contribute to peace and security, aside from the high-profile woman who sits at the table, or the nation's leader that makes the peace, what it is that women themselves across the board can do? Well, this does deserve far more quantitative research and rigorous study. That's why Georgetown's plan to establish an Institute for Women, Peace, Security, and Development, to support scholarship and research, as well as outreach, will help us elevate public understanding of this important matter. It will be a home for primary source material such as oral histories, and quality analysis that will help activists and leaders as well. I can't wait to see it up and going. A new push on research and data collection will be particularly useful for us as we implement our own National Action Plan.

Of course, we know that change will not come easily and it certainly won't come quickly. But to ensure that we are headed in the right direction, that our strategies are effective and sustainable, we have to be able to measure what we are doing. And that means developing sound metrics to guide us. So thanks to Georgetown for taking on this really important task.

Let me close by telling you about one woman whose experiences and accomplishments embody much of what we are discussing today, and that is our special guest, the president of Kosovo. She's here with us today, and I've been able to spend some wonderful time with her over the last few days and in meetings before she came. And I won't, like Carol, tell you how young she is, but let's just say that she's accomplished a great deal in a very short period.

The future president was still a student when war tore apart her homeland. Now, I will never forget those days - meeting Kosovar families in a refugee camp, meeting others in Europe, hearing their stories of being forced from their homes at gunpoint, or the haunted pain in the eyes of a doctor who was literally chased from caring for her patients. It was a terrible conflict, and I'm very proud of the role that the United States played in ending the violence.

After finishing her studies, this young woman, who would not have been identified as a future president of an independent Kosovo, went to work as a police officer so she could help keep the peace and protect her community. She worked closely with international troops. She earned the respect of her colleagues, both on the frontlines and in the offices where decisions were made, and she earned the trust of her fellow citizens, men and women alike.

She rose through the ranks quickly, eventually helping lead the new Kosovo police force. And then earlier this year, she became the first woman-elected president of Kosovo, and also the first woman-elected president anywhere in the Balkans. Since then, she has shown consistent leadership and worked to bring her country together behind a program of good governance, rule of law, ethnic reconciliation, and regional stability. She has also stood up for the rights and opportunities of Kosovo's women. And as she explained at a recent investment conference in Zagreb with women entrepreneurs, she understands the role that women must play in increasing regional prosperity and security.

Like so many women around the world, President Jahjaga endured the pain of war and was determined to secure the benefits of peace. Kosovo is better off because she insisted on being part of the solution. Our goal together should be to open that opportunity to women in every place where peace and stability are threatened so they too can contribute to lasting security for their communities and their countries. That is what this national action plan is all about. And that is now the mission and the redoubled purpose of our own government. And it is the future of peacemaking. There is so much to be done, and I know that many of you here who are studying at Georgetown have a future ahead of you of being among the peacemakers and keepers in government, in NGOs, in multilateral institutions, in our nation's military, in academia. We need you and we welcome your commitment to this great struggle of the 21st century, ensuring peace, equality, prosperity, and opportunity in the context of freedom and democracy for people everywhere.

Thank you for deciding to be part of the solution, and I now look forward to taking some questions about how we can chart this new approach together. (Applause.)

Thank you. (Applause.) your social media marketing partner


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+23 # dkonstruction 2011-12-23 12:15
Then how come she has supported every war the US has waged at least since Bill was President?
+4 # geraldom 2011-12-23 19:43
Quoting dkonstruction:
Then how come she has supported every war the US has waged at least since Bill was President?

Every time I speak about Hillary Clinton, I refer to her as Obama's Minister of Death. It is my belief that, before Obama leaves office, Israel will preemptively and illegally launch an attack on Iran. Iran will, by all rights, launch a counterattack against Israel causing massive damage and deaths among many Israelis. Israel will then launch a much more massive counterattack against Iran and probably use one or more of its many nuclear weapons it claims that it doesn't have, and who knows what's going to happen after that.

One thing that I do know is that if the above events were to happen, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will not only have pushed Israel into doing this, but will also be there to cheer Israel on and will most probably join in with Israel using the massive naval armada that we have lurking in the Persian Gulf just off the coast of Iran.

I can almost assure you that Russia and China will not remain on the sidelines if this happens.
+8 # Activista 2011-12-23 20:12
Yes Harold, and the attack on Iran is being sold by White House propaganda to American people as act to protect Women, Peace, and Security in the Middle East.
+5 # Activista 2011-12-24 01:47
"Russia and China will not remain on the sidelines"
Russia will support covertly any conflict with Iran - price of OIL will double, triple after the conflict and so Russia oil export revenue.
The economic impact on the USA will be just opposite. Neocons are destroying USA.
+14 # geraldom 2011-12-24 09:56
I'm replying to my own comment here because it seems to me that even tho so many of the Obama devout who have been supporting & defending Obama all of these years, coming up with all kinds of rationalization s & excuses as to why Obama has done what he did in terms of bad things & hadn't come even come close to fulfilling very much in the way of his promise of real change in this country, that he had inherited a very bad situation from Bush, that he needed to be given more time to fix the problem, even tho everything that Obama was doing was making matters worse, like picking the wrong advisers for his cabinet, that the Repubs were to blame for preventing Obama from doing the right thing, & so forth & so on, that even tho these very devout Obama fans, at least most of them, have finally unstuck their heads from the sand & have woken up to reality, that Obama isn't what he really claims to be, that he's actually what he seems to be, another wannabe dictator just like Bush, most of the devout fans of Hillary Clinton have yet to unstick their heads from the sand to see the truth about Hillary.

If the American people want a true Democracy in this country, that is of the people, by the people, & for the people, with the exception of a very few, people like Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich, & others like them, the American people must completely replace the old guard in Washington with fresh brand new faces who have not been corrupted with power & greed.
-1 # 2011-12-25 13:52
Getting rid of the old guard and bringing in a fresh new face like Obama was a focal point in the 2008 primary and look at hat we got?
+7 # disgusted American 2011-12-23 19:45
Was about to comment about Hillary b/c so many women are just gonna suck this up without realizing she is Lady McDeath and that hubby is part of the foreign relations crowd which is war mongers only.

So encouraging to see that your aptly stated comment was the first one that greeted my eyes.
+6 # Rita Walpole Ague 2011-12-24 11:22
"...serve in the military..." Sorry, but Hill's support of the military/indust rial/terrorism complex caused me, in 2008, to put a tiny Obama button on the picture of me and Hill and Bill, taken at a mutual friend's home in 2000. I, like so many others, had fallen for the OhBombAh spin that he was get us out of warmode, and by voting for and supporting him, there was hope for change. Not, it so sadly turns out.

Reality check: Dems., including Dem. women, have to walk the walk and not merely talk to talk. No more knee jerk voting (i.e. damn a Dem., but vote for them - Dems. can and do screw us, just not as obviously as Greedy Old Partiers).

Vote we must only for candidates who have worked hard for years for the liberty and justice and peace for all we so crave today here in the U.S. of (greed and power) A.(ddiction) and around the world. Then, and here comes the hard part, make certain that vote gets honestly counted and none have been disenfranchised by the villainaire rulers and their minions.

Yes we can UNDO THE COUP, but not by and through war supporters such as Clinton and/or OhBombAh.
+5 # Barbara K 2011-12-23 12:22
Thank you, Mrs. Secretary of State, and President Obama, for showing that women have a role to play in this world. Women can do a lot if given the chance. Keep up the good work and good luck with getting thru the heads of some of those anti-women countries.
+18 # brianf 2011-12-23 12:40
Hillary, I think you are a good person and mean well. But every good act you have done in your life will be completely in vain if we don't win the war on global warming. If the Keystone pipeline is built, that will make it practically impossible to win that war. Your apparent pushing for this pipeline's approval (or at least your failure to block it) outweigh all the good you have done in your life a billion times over.

Why do I say this? Because the effects of even 2 degrees C of warming will be so devastating that at the very least we will have worldwide famine and an economic collapse far worse than the Great Depression. And that is if we are lucky. If feedback takes over, or if any one of several recent scientific studies is right, then a mass extinction will be unavoidable. And it that happens, there will be no more women or men. All your ideals, like equality and justice and freedom, will have no meaning at all.

Please, put things into perspective, stop this pipeline, and make the war on global warming your top priority.
+16 # noitall 2011-12-23 13:09
Great things to say and things that most of us believe in. On the campaign trail we hear EVERYTHING that we WANT to hear. We feel good, we get fired up, we see HOPE for the future. The 'experienced' side of me sees the 'woman card' being played because I have a memory. The hopeful side sees a corner being rounded. I know for many of us it was a toss-up for who to support Obama or Hillary. I think it turns out that it didn't matter. They're both good at their trade. 'Tis the season to hear the words and for hearts to swell. Personally, I think it is just the season when I look around the world and the actions of both of them the past months. I know all the defences, excuses, realities, call them what you may. What I haven't seen from either Barack or Hillary is the kind of selfless courage and bravery that I see from the common people like the women honored in Oslo, the women on OWS, the women of the Congo, Ethiopia, Egypt, fill the blanks. Where is this courage in congress??!! in our government??!! the courage that makes American People strong so that we can ALL be the ambassadors that gives the world hope. WE are not what the world sees, they see Barack and Hillary, and they see 'us' through the actions of our government through very clear, uncensored lenses; clearer than the lens we peer through, that's for sure. I'm tired of this emotional manipulation without substance.
I want to see AUDACITY acting for GOOD, deeds from my leaders that SHOCK and AWE me with pride.
0 # 2011-12-23 20:44
NOTITALL: You've done it again writing a beautiful, thoughtful comment that needs to be reflected upon. I agree with much of what you say but as an avid supporter of Hillary in 2008, I knew then and now that under Hillary's leadership as POTUS, the US would not be in crisis economically and globally as it is under Obama's leadership. Obama does not know how to get us out of the turmoil we are in and frankly I don't think he cares. Hillary is an astute politician and negotiator. If not Hillary, whom would you suggest. For the good of the country, Obama needs to step down before the Primary.
-2 # CL38 2011-12-24 13:20
The republicans have obstructed every thing Obama does. Get real. But I do agree that Hillary would have made a better President.
+8 # Regina 2011-12-23 13:13
These efforts are long overdue! Yes, better late than never; past outrages cannot be righted, such as "honor killings." But at least there appears to be a future that can be built for the true equality of women. Nonetheless, vigilance will be necessary to prevent sabotage by continued or resumed violence against women, abetted by destructive interpretations of religiously propagated doctrines.
0 # Johnny 2011-12-23 13:23
I think I am going to barf. That scumbag Hillary Clinton has commanded the murder as many innocent men, women, and children as any male scumbag, including Dick Cheney and Barak Obomber. Why is it different when a woman endorses genocide than when a male does it?
+3 # Activista 2011-12-23 20:17
Somebody analyzed the fuhrer speeches and most common word was PEACE...
"While feverishly preparing for war, Hitler constantly used the word "peace," knowing very well that it is the shortest route to the hearts of enlightened democracies ..."
+18 # sandyboy 2011-12-23 13:37
Do we really need politicians on RSN? Clinton has no sense of irony, going on about the abuse of marchers in Egypt while in the US she and Obama do NOTHING about state violence against Occupy marchers, many of whom are women. A woman who repeatedly claimed to have bravely dodged sniper fire until it was finally proved the incident never happened cheapens the courage of other, REAL heroines.
+16 # je proteste 2011-12-23 15:54
Irony? Did you see the video of her droning on about free speech while Ray McGovern was being mauled by security for standing in the aisle and turning his back on her?

I don't think she can top that one.
+9 # disgusted American 2011-12-23 19:50
To the comments above and below about hypocrisy - glad you people get it. Hillary et al think we take stupid pills every morning.

Unfortunately, Obama apologists have overdosed and can't even see past their noses.
-6 # CL38 2011-12-24 13:21
No, but I can hear you droning on ah blah
-6 # CL38 2011-12-24 13:16
grow up
+15 # Lolanne 2011-12-23 13:38
In some ways this sounds like the height of hypocrisy. The goals described are indeed commendable, and long overdue. But I looked in vain for any mention of including women in any peace process here in the US. And I do have to wonder whether these attempts to protect women and stop the violence against them will include the peaceful women of OWS who have been beaten and pepper-sprayed just because some male bully wanted to show how tough he was.
+5 # jon 2011-12-23 18:31
Exactly RIGHT, Lolanne!

When Hillary shouts about abuse of anti-corporatis t women in the USA, THEN she will get a kudos from me.

And, what an irony that she would point out, in a speech about women in peace efforts, that their were several female military officers present.

Am I the only one that can point out that the emperor wears no clothes?
+8 # disgusted American 2011-12-23 20:03
The police violence and brutality against the Occupy movement - female and male alike - appears to have been ordered and orchestrated by the powers that be. So Hillary can't go there.

She and Obummer also made a big deal about communication and social networking being cut off during the protests in Lybia while in America, SOPA is coming which will cut off social networking in the guise of anti-piracy.

SOPA is so unpopular that where I live, TV ads were running to tell people that SOPA is to protect them from pirates stealing their info. That's a load of melarky b/c SOPA is not about that and, furthermore, pirates are going to steal your info anyways - it's illegal now without SOPA, and, furthermore, that's what pirates do.

Gov't is hipocrisy, smoke and mirrors and a lot of dog-and-pony shows.
-6 # 2011-12-24 20:22
Hillary should go there! Obama isn't going to but it will harm his contributers on WS who want more of the same from him which is rhetoric and do-nothing for the 99%. Hillary would be proactive and pro-human rights and pro-OWS if she were autonomous and not part of Obama's cabinet. I believe some Republicans other than the tea bag people do not care if Obama is re-elected because he is a do nothing POTUS who plays to their choir by ducking, evading, lying, and reinforcing their agenda which will ensure them 8 years in the WH after he brings the country down for another 4 years. Hillary is strong and pro-active and too smart and driven to accomplish to fail. She also is very electable. If he weren't delusional and egoistic he would step down and do a service to the people harmed by his failed leadership and policies.
+5 # noitall 2011-12-23 21:56
This is campaign rhetoric and nothing else. We've been watching her in action and it doesn't ring what she's saying as she begs for the second go-around. Actions speak louder than words!
-1 # 2011-12-25 14:07
NOITALL: what are you speaking of here?
What does Hillary say that contradicts what she believes in and does? I agree that actions speak louder than words. I have campaigned for Hillary and found her to be authentic and a woman of her word. She has had her hands tied as Secty
of State by Obama and she has not said anything to imply she wants a "second chance". BUT, there are many Hilllary supporters who are begging her to run on various websites for "Hillary for POTUS".
+1 # CL38 2011-12-24 13:15
So because she didn't mention women in the US, what she said is invalid or not acceptable to you?? Too bad.
-2 # CL38 2011-12-23 13:40
Was it only 3 years ago that Hillary was trashed by the DNC and media because she was a woman?

She's risen from that devastating 'beating' to be a voice for women all over the world.

Thank you. You have my appreciation and respect.
0 # disgusted American 2011-12-23 20:04
Appreciation and respect for what? She is Lady McDeath. There isn't a war she doesn't like or doesn't want to start.
+2 # noitall 2011-12-23 22:04
There were MANY women in America more deserving of a crack at being the first woman president than Hillary and many Afro-American men more suited than Obomber. These two were vetted by whatever scumbags do the vetting in this so-called, poor excuse for a "democracy". As usual, what we end up is status quo.
+2 # CL38 2011-12-24 13:08
and I'm sure you would have voted for them all!
-2 # 2011-12-25 14:16
NOTITALL: what women are more qualified, experienced and intelligent than Hillary?
Hillary is the most respected and popular politician in the US today in accordance with the polls and she has a multitude of websites with supporters who stuck with her or those with "buyers remorse" who support her now.DMC and BO trashed her in a big way but many of us saw past that. I agree with what you say about OBAMA. He was never vetted and we have a poor excuse for a "Democracy".
+18 # Mohanraj 2011-12-23 13:47
It is strange that the world sees only when someone gets an award. There are many other women who deserve awards like Nobel Prize. for example Dilma Rousseff, the first female President of Brazil. she is great not because she has become the president but because she literally fought against the military dictatorship. She was captured and imprisoned. When in jail, she was reportedly tortured but she did not give in. There are not many women today who would have suffered as much as she did -- all for the liberation of her country and the people of Brazil.
-17 # 2011-12-23 13:53
Hillary Clinton is the most intelligent and trustworthy voice in the WH and needs to run for POTUS in 2012 to bring our country out of crisis and restore hope and glory in the US. She is a real leader, a negotiater and problem solver and knows how to get things done.

-8 # 2011-12-24 20:29
Why the minus's? Do you want another 4 years of Obama with his police state affinity, increasing unemployment, doing away with SS and MC/MC which he is about to do. Two months extension of keeping the payroll tax from increasing is a joke. Or do you want a loose cannon and meglomaniac like Gingrich leading the US or a homophonic moron like Perry or how about a racist and no medical care assistance for anyone like Paul? We need a democrat who cares about the people and is electable.
+5 # Activista 2011-12-24 22:30
"democrat who cares about the people? " more like interest of AIPAC?
Please give ONE example when/where Hillary Clinton gave the preference to American People/Interest to that of AIPAC/Israel.
Attack on Libya, Syria, Iran does/did NOT promote World "Women, Peace, and Security" - American Prosperity.
+19 # Vardoz 2011-12-23 14:02
I say let's vote for Elizabeth Warren for President when Obamas time is up. She is too valuable in the senate.
+5 # disgusted American 2011-12-23 20:07
Elizabeth Warren supports the fake war on terror, Obamacare and any other war the ruling class wants to start.

Look into her before you speak.

We need to stop supporting the one-party system that is running this country into the ground and us with it. Warrne is part of that system.
+5 # impeachemall 2011-12-23 14:07
Are we really sure that Hillary is a woman?

I know she's a wife and mother, but where's her compassion for the victims of the ongoing US wars of empire and greed, and the CIA's ongoing machinations in developing countries throughout the world, executing leaders and activists for change, and installing and supporting dictators?

Would she have sent Chelsea to other countries to kill and maim noncombatants, poison the environment, ruin local economies and render the populace homeless and hungry? Would she have sent Chelsea off to be maimed or killed, or to return home sick in body and mind?

Of course not. But she doesn't hesitate to send other Americans' children off to suffer the horrors of our government's illegal, immoral wars.

I'm surprised RSN would publish Clinton's bull-shit propaganda.
+4 # noitall 2011-12-23 22:07
Remember Margaret Thatcher? Women should seek true equality including doing away with current stereotypes. Some are great, some suck.
+8 # uppityartist 2011-12-23 14:12
This is great work, and I like to see the US taking a leadership role in women's empowerment in the world.

Now, what about in the US? In our military? In our congress? If we are going to be credible leaders in the world as pro-women, perhaps we need to get our house in order.
+18 # RMDC 2011-12-23 14:16
One always has to admire the courage of women in developing countries who fight for independence and human rights. Check out Kathleen Foster's documentary -- Afghan Women: A History of Struggle. The same story could be told in most countries that the US has brought war to and destroyed.

Unfortunately Hillary Clinton is on the wrong side and always has been. She is in a position to stop war. She could have given a speech condemning all war and the US especially. She could have dared Obama to fire her. She could start by demanding an end to US wars. But she does not do this. She supports war.

Some years ago I participated in a conference at the UN on the effects of war on women and children. Not surprisingly women and children suffer the most in war. Why wasn't Hillary at that conference?

Hillary's comments on Kosovo are cynical beyond belief. Kosovo is America's gangster state. It is the world headquarters for trafficking of sex-slaves from eastern europe to the west. It is also a major producer of pornography and transshipper of heroin. Hillary knows this.

Hillary says she's proud of the US role in ending violence. She's got it backwards. The US is the biggest purveyor of violence, terrorism, torture, and death on earth. Hillary works for a death-cult that murders and tortures people just for the sake of being vicious.

How many women has the US killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, and so on?
+10 # colvictoria 2011-12-23 16:32
@RMDC what about when about 1 million were assassinated in Ruwanda while her husband was president? What about all of those women who were butchered and slaughtered including their babies. Why wasn't Hillary speaking out against the violence then?
What about Mexico and the failed US war against drugs and the "narcotraficant es"? Mexico's economy is in shambles and many women are forced to either prostitute themselves or marry men who are dealers or traffic drugs themselves to make a meager living. Many times when deals go bad it's women and children who end up murdered. Ciudad Juarez is a slaughterhouse. Women and young girls lay dead near the border and nobody seems to know who is killing them. This is right in our own back yard does Hillary even care?
You are right RMDC US foreign policy has always been about destabilizing governments substituting one dictatorship for another and in the process leaving the lives of women in complete chaos.
+13 # bobby t. 2011-12-23 14:16
and barbara, the republicans have shown their disregard for intelligent women by putting up sarah palin and michelle bachman for president. two loony tunes women who have ridiculous ideas. match them up against the women in congress or hillary, or gloria, or the hat lady, bella and what do you see. golda was another. they put up dummys because that is all they have? i am sure there are smarter women out there, but they are not going to show up their idiotic men who are creating a circular fighting squard. never vote republican!
+7 # Activista 2011-12-23 15:55
"Department of Defense, which helped develop the National Action Plan" - with bombs for Women, Peace, and Security in Iran - aka Libya?
Hillary NEOCON Clinton is the top war US criminal - smart and immoral.
Libya - are women better there now under new Islam law - how many were killed (liberated?)by NATO bombs?
Syria - what women in Damascus are marching for?
Palestine - how many Women Nobel Laureates were beaten/arrested by IDF protesting Gaza blockade?
And as somebody mentioned Kosovo - ask Serbian women ..
At beginning I thought that I am reading parody on Hillary propaganda - but it was true - " Department of Defense, which helped develop the National Action Plan" - is the another trick to start MORE
Can see US/Israel bombing Iran to protect "Iranian women" and we will applaud.
+9 # colvictoria 2011-12-23 16:54
Thank you for sharing your comments about Libya. From what I have read in radical left circles on Libya when Qaddafi first took power after ousting King Idris he gave the people free housing, health care and electricity.
He used Libyan oil revenue to do a lot of great things in his country like the Great Man Made River. Women were given rights and education was free. Libya had one of the highest standards of living for an African country and now like you say all of that has been destroyed after the NATO strikes.
Now women's lives are hanging in the balance and may suffer a setback with the new Sharia Law that the NTC fundamentalists want to implement.
Qaddafi got corrupted no doubt but how many Americans wouldn't want free health care for all, free education including University study, free electricity and a home built for everyone in this nation. Unfortunately that would never happen here in America it's an American Dream.
+4 # Activista 2011-12-23 20:05
More than 50% of Libyan students sent to US graduate schools were WOMEN.
How many women sends US/Hillary abroad to graduate schools with full stipend?
National Planning Center for Education and Vocational Training

Libya’s educational and training system is well established, in part because in the last 10 years it has devoted 52 to 54 percent of the national budget to education.
Libya (pre NATO destruction) invested 52% of the national budget to education.
USA invests 3% of the national budget to education.
+9 # noitall 2011-12-23 22:59
This manipulation of other people's cultures, lives, governments, etc. (including our own) happens time and time again. If it illustrates anything, it illustrates the power of the pen (and the TV). The Right-wing owned media's propaganda militia paints us a picture of who to hate and we go over the cliff like a bunch of lemmings, rooting for whatever carnage "our side" inflicts on the "savages" in the name of "freedom" just as we watch our own freedoms evaporate, succombing to fear of whatever cartoon image the "Murdochs" put in our sorry minds. Ever notice how this brainwashing perpetuates racism and stalls our advancement as a civilization?
The power of media control and monopoly is not benign by any means. Why else would they do-away with the Fairness Doctrine! and Anti-Trust!???? Ignorance is not bliss after One awakens.
+4 # sandyboy 2011-12-23 16:32
Thanks RMDC and Activista and Impeachemall! But dorianb/and uppityartist made my jaw drop - I just don't get how folks are gung-ho for Hillary simply because she's a Democrat (sic - or sick) and a woman, and blithely ignore her failure to come out against war and homeland violence. Hillary for President? Nooooo!!!!!!
+9 # Richard Raznikov 2011-12-23 17:09
You've got to admire her nerve. This is someone who has supported war crimes, ignored casualties, and contributed to a climate of violence throughout the world. This is a woman who, not realizing that the cameras were rolling, greeted the news of the beating death of Qaddafi with the "We came, we saw, he died!" laughter and exultation. For her to try to hitch herself to the cause of women and women's equality, when so many have suffered and died due to policies she 'justified' is a cynical joke. She is a monster.
+7 # Activista 2011-12-23 19:44
greeted the news of the beating death of Qaddafi with the "We came, we saw, he died!
Wounded Qaddafi was tortured, SODOMIZED, killed - and then displayed in the meat freezer.
Google Qaddafi sodomized video .. his son Hannibal wife wife ... How Libyan Rebels Rape Nigerian Women ...
and from the US Department on State website:
Crime against foreigners is a growing problem in Libya. Weapons looted from military and police warehouses have proliferated among Libyans. The most common types of crime are property crimes of opportunity, including vehicle burglaries. Pick-pocketing and residential burglaries are also on the increase. Women routinely face verbal harassment. While physical violence is not common, there have been instances of assault against women, ranging from sexual groping or assault and battery to attempted rape.
Hillary is a monster ...
+4 # disgusted American 2011-12-23 20:11
Wow! Many great comments above. Glad that most of you get it. Here's hoping more people wake up.
+5 # Activista 2011-12-23 19:26
Dear Hillary -
1417 in Gaza were killed by US made bombs - MOSTLY civilians 313 children, hundreds women - you applauded - blocked UN resolutions.
How many women Hillary's Department of Defense - National Action Plan is planning to kill next year? Syria, Iran, Afghanistan?
+3 # Michael_K 2011-12-23 23:56
Really Hillary? Really!? Care to trot out that miserable explanation of your refusal to ban the use of cluster munitions on civilians (women and children)? Care to tell us again how you couldn't vote for the Levin Amendment, only minutes after lavishly praising it, because "it subordinated the President's authority to the UN Security Council" when in reality, a 12 year old with English as a second language could clearly understand it did nothing of the sort... Oh, and what about your heroic and most excellent Bosnian Adventure? We forget nothing, you silly cow, and you really should go hide somewhere in shame.
+7 # propsguy 2011-12-24 11:43
hmmm, the dept of defense implementing a plan to help women? i'm not buying ti
+5 # Activista 2011-12-24 13:31
"Pentagon will build on the excellent work already underway in places like Afghanistan - where our Provincial Reconstruction Teams engage with communities to curb violence against women, honor killings, and female immolation - and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where AFRICOM experts are training local soldiers to protect human rights and prevent sexual and gender-based violence." What a cruel joke!
According to very Pentagon research WOMEN of Afghanistan do NOT want NATO to occupy their country.
"After initially denying involvement or any cover-up in the deaths of three Afghan women during a badly bungled American Special Operations assault in February, the American-led military command in Kabul admitted late on Sunday that its forces had, in fact, KILLED the women during the nighttime raid.
NATO, Boxing In the West (April 5, 2010)
The admission immediately raised questions ... — including a new report that Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the bodies of the women to hide the true nature of their deaths.
+4 # Activista 2011-12-24 13:19
"Thousands of Syrians chanted "Death to America" during the funeral processions in Damascus, cheering Assad, calling for revenge and denouncing Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani who has become one of Assad's main Arab critics."
another great example of Bloody Hillary "humanitarian" work. Another civil war started by US and Israeli agencies.
-9 # 2011-12-24 19:56
Hillary is under Obama's command and has had to support him and go along with decisions she opposed. I think many of you have the wrong opinion of her. I am anti-war and believe Hillary Clinton is a strong supporter of Human Rights and as POTUS would do things differently than we have seen in the past 4 years. I love Bernie Saunders, Elizabeth Warren, Alan Grayson but at this crucial time, Hillary is the more electable candidate and she has the qualifications to get America back to work, negotiate with the Repugs and is the best candidate to tackle our economic and global issues. She has a huge amount of support. I know because I worked for her in 2008. Bill Clinton is brilliant and would be at her side. The real problem is Hillary is so tired and frustrated after 4 years with Obama, she wants to get out but she is the only one who can not only get America back on its feel she can win the election and spare us from some moronic fascist winning the election. Obama has failed the country and betrayed the people. I know Hillary and Bill and theycare authentic, committed and will not be twiddling their thumbs or golfing while "US Burns!" Please open your minds to this.
+4 # Activista 2011-12-24 22:15
" I am anti-war and believe Hillary Clinton is a strong supporter of Human Rights"
Senator Hillary Clinton voted FOR Iraq War.
Senator Barack Obama voted AGAINST Iraq War.
Hillary Clinton DROVE the Libya NATO bombing/destruc tion - even the Defense Secretary Gates was against Libya destruction.
Hillary and Bill are both VERY SMART people - and VERY unethical. Mentality of 1% power class.
Now Hillary with US military is using "Women, Peace, and Security" to start more wars. If ever there was an OXYMORON - then NATO bombs to "Protect Libyan People" is ONE.
Google what is life like in "Liberated" Tripoli.
-8 # 2011-12-24 20:09
Activista, I wish you could get over your hatred of Israel. The fact is that the US is committed to help this sole democracy in the Middle East. I would like to see peaceful negotiations and a better way of life for Israel and the Palestinians who once lived side by side as friends. This will never come about by reinforcing the conflict with hatred and animosity but with intelligent intervention and a true desire for peace. I believe the Clintons are the only politicians who can make this happen. Please don't call Hillary names like "bloody Hillary"; I know her and she truly is a humanitarian and if out from under Obama and his surrounding staff's non-authentic/n on-humanitarian policies Hillary with the help of Bill who is doing great human rights work in Haiti could make it happen. We have to believe in possibiliy again. the last four years have destroyed our hope.
+4 # Activista 2011-12-24 21:38
When I was criticizing Bush - I was hating USA. Now when I criticize Israel I am antisemitic?
Clintons are controlled by AIPAC - learn bit.
Only genuine - fair person with tangible peace achievement was/is Carter.
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (9780743285025 ... crowning achievement of Jimmy Carter's presidency was the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt, and he has continued his public and private ...
+6 # CandH 2011-12-25 10:01
"In Jan of '11, we were told that "spontaneous," "indigenous" uprising had begun sweeping N Africa and the ME in what was hailed as the "Arab Spring." It would be almost 4 months before the corporate-media would admit that the US had been behind the uprisings and that they were anything but "spontaneous," or "indigenous." In an Apr '11 article published by the NY Times titled, "U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings," it was stated:

"A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington."

The article would also add, regarding the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED):

"The Repub and Democrat institutes are loosely affiliated with the Repub and Dem Parties. They were created by Congress and are financed through the NED, which was set up in '83 to channel grants for promoting democracy in developing nations. The NED receives about $100 million annually from Congress. Freedom House also gets the bulk of its money from the American government, mainly from the State Dept. '"
+3 # RMDC 2011-12-25 18:39
Good post CandH. The NED, Freedom House, Google and many others involved in the so-called Arab Spring are CIA fronts. The CIA works through these NGOs because it needs their cover.

There is a genuine and huge desire in the Arab world for real freedom and independence from the military puppets that have ruled their countries since the end of colonialism. But those genuine desires can be hi-jacked by the CIA. That's largely what is happening.

In Libya, it was an all out invasion by a CIA mercenary army with air cover and bombing provided by NATO. In Syria, it is an all out invasion by a CIA mercenary army. No bombing yet, but that may be coming.

People have to learn to do some research on the groups organizing protests. When it is the same CIA front NGOs -- NED, IRI, Freedom House, Open Society, and others -- you can be the people will be a lot worse off when the protests end.

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