As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton has put the rights of women and girls front and center in the State Department policies and programs; she will truly be missed! Much has been made of her unique partnership with President Obama, but we think it’s worth taking a few minutes to talk about her legacy for women and girls.
And the legacy of Secretary Clinton is not brief. From creating the first-ever Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s issues to launching a new strategy to leverage women as “Agents of Peace” involving them as equal partners in conflict negotiation, she has been a force for good to women around the world.
Secretary Clinton knows that protecting women’s rights is in the vital interest of the United States. That’s why she made it a central focus of U.S. global health programs and investments. During her tenure, the Obama administration expanded policies to promote gender equity and eliminate gender-based violence. They released a U.S. policy on gender—demanding accelerated efforts for gender equality. Clinton also led efforts to protect LGBT rights abroad and unveiled the roadmap for how the U.S. government will work to help achieve an AIDS-free generation.
Here’s one of our favorite quotes of Secretary Clinton, from the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning: “Reproductive rights are among the most basic of human rights. But too often, in too many places, these rights are denied. Millions of women and young people in developing countries don't have access to information to plan their family. They don't have health services and modern methods of contraception. This is not only a violation of their right to decide the number, timing, and spacing of their children, it's also a question of equity as women everywhere should have the same ability to determine this fundamental part of their lives.”
Senator John Kerry will have a tough act to follow, but we’re confident he will continue his role as a long time supporter of women’s health and empowerment in his own right.
No other secretary of state has ever advanced the rights of women and girls around the world as she has. And now it’s time for us to stand up and speak out for her. Join us in giving our heartfelt thanks to Hillary Clinton for her tireless efforts to advance the rights of women and girls around the world.