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Most Recent Episode
Hillary Clinton - Women's Rights are Human Rights
3 days ago
In planning to make her speech, the 47-year-old Clinton defied both internal administration pressure and external Chinese pressure to soften her remarks. The U.S. State Department and the National Security Agency both tried to dissuade her on the grounds that it would irritate the Chinese. While President Bill Clinton had seen the speech in advance, his aides had not, and White House Chief of Staff Thomas McLarty was under the impression that it would not say anything new or controversial. Some human rights campaigners also objected to Clinton speaking in China, fearing it would legitimize that government, and a State Department condition was that Chinese human rights activist Harry Wu be released before she would appear, which he was. Some vocal Catholic groups criticized the gathering as "anti-family" while some ideological conservatives said that Clinton was clearly going to push a "radical feminist agenda" while there.
Once it happened on 5 September 1995, Clinton's speech was delivered in a large hall at the conference. In it, she argued against practices abusing women around the world and in China itself. Targeting governments and organizations as well as individual females, she stated her belief that the issues facing women and girls are often either ignored or "silenced" and thus go unresolved. Elements brought up in the speech include dowry deaths and China's one-child policy.
Clinton declared "that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women's rights as separate from human rights". Delegates from over 180 countries heard her say:
“ "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."
She followed this by saying, "As long as discrimination and inequities remain so commonplace everywhere in the world, as long as girls and women are valued less, fed less, fed last, overworked, underpaid, not schooled, subjected to violence in and outside their homes—the potential of the human family to create a peaceful, prosperous world will not be realized." A number of the women delegates at the conference pounded on tables and cheered as she spoke.
China's citizenry was not allowed to attend the speech, and it was blacked out on Chinese radio and television.
The speech received prominent media attention at the time. NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw said, “In her own way, she made a direct hit on the Chinese," while reporter Andrea Mitchell sai
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