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Secy. Clinton’s Speech on Women, Peace and Security

Of course, we understand that there are differences that are of historic and cultural importance in many places around the world. And many of those we respect, and we try to be very sensitive to the legitimate concerns that people have about protecting what they value in their own societies. But there are certain actions that are beyond any cultural norm. Beating women is not cultural, it’s criminal, and it needs to be addressed and treated as such. (Applause.) – Secy. Clinton

It was a tremendous speech and a very important one. I tweeted many of her best sound bites, but there were so many. Secy. Clinton also announced an Executive Order launching the first-ever U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, for which Pres. Obama deserves credit.

We all know that this focus on women as part of U.S. foreign policy is being guided by Secy. Clinton, who began this push as first lady that is the foundation of my book (now in print). It is part biography of Clinton, part autobiography as well because of the trajectory of my life and its link with the modern feminist movement and Hillary’s rise, which follows 20 years of politics.

It is another example of the Hillary Effect, with Clinton’s position at State solidifying the importance of women in United States foreign policy under Pres. Obama, which has never been given the focus it has before.

Farah Pandith, special Representative to Muslim Communities for the State Department, attributed this goal to the “Hillary effect,” a phrase that has come to describe Clinton’s contagious enthusiasm. Pandith applauded Clinton for her 2008 presidential campaign, citing “15 million cracks in the glass ceiling.” – Clinton inspires Barnard students at State Department (h/t Daniel Aubry)

The text is here.

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.

…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.

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