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Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’

One way for ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) to ensure that proposed multi-state, anti-protest bills receive publicity and are perceived as necessary is to set a stage that will draw protestors.

Late last week, news of the United Nations warning the G.O.P. on pending state laws criminalizing protests brought out attention to ALEC , and their “free speech” agenda that focuses on the right of alt-right speakers to float their messages on university campuses.

Public and most private U.S. universities tend to lean liberal. We have seen incidents of alt-right speakers being invited, mysteriously, to universities where the scheduled speeches were protested.

Milo Yiannopoulos, notably, canceled an early February appearance at Berkeley due to protests. Late last month, Ann Coulter similarly canceled an appearance on the same campus recognized as the birthplace of the free speech movement of the 60s. The protests against Yiannopoulos turned ugly, destructive, riotous. Resistance protesters eschew violence leaving us with a second mystery. Who were the violent protesters?

Today’s story from the New York Times provides an answer to one question: Who invites these speakers?

So these appearances are arranged and financed, not by the schools, but by an organization, Young America’s Foundation. The speeches are bait. Hearing that an alt-right speaker is scheduled to speak at a school, students are certain to protest. We know that protests potentially draw troublemakers.

Resistance protests are peaceful. We do not know who the troublemakers were at Berkeley but they certainly were not part of the Resistance. The marches in cities, so far, have been peaceful. So why this marked difference on campus?

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I would suggest that these Berkeley incidents were intentionally set on that campus because its history guaranteed protest  – that much is obvious. I would suggest further, that the rioters were part of the staging.

Protest organizers, going forward, must remain mindful that these alt-right speakers are bait.  Protest behavior is the prey. Suppressing alt-right speakers inhibits their 1st Amendment rights. If we do that, we give the G.O.P. exactly the excuse they are looking for to push these laws that are intended to criminalize our own protests.

I will not pretend to have answers, but sometimes silence can be deafening. Silence and signs, shirts, and banners. We can predict that where these folks come in to speak, the riot goons will also appear. For that, we must be prepared and also plan to be distinct, separate, and present marked, non-violent contrast.

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Proud.

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Our new favorite map. RT if you live in a state where marriage equality is law.

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Our hearts are full for Dave, Dan, and Jaylah, and loving families in all 50 states.

Proud to celebrate a historic victory for marriage equality—& the courage & determination of LGBT Americans who made it possible. -H

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Today is one of those days we’ll tell our grandchildren about. Marriage equality is now the law in all 50 states.

From Stonewall to today’s decision, the courage and determination of the LGBT community has changed hearts, minds, and laws. Generations of advocates and activists sacrificed so much for this victory.

This is our country at its best: inclusive, open, and striving towards true equality.

But the struggle for LGBT rights doesn’t end with this triumph. Our work is not finished until every American can not only marry, but live, work, pray, learn, and raise a family free from discrimination and prejudice.

I will never stop fighting for every American who needs a champion. Are you with me?

Add your name to celebrate history:

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/history/

Thank you,

Hillary

 

Statement from Hillary Clinton on the Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality

Hillary Clinton released the following statement after the Supreme Court decision on Marriage Equality in the Obergefell v. Hodges case.

Along with millions of Americans, I am celebrating today’s landmark victory for marriage equality, and the generations of advocates and activists who fought to make it possible. From Stonewall to the Supreme Court, the courage and determination of the LGBT community has changed hearts and changed laws.

This ruling is an affirmation of the commitment of couples across the country who love one another. It reflects the will of the vast and growing multitude of Americans who believe that LGBT couples deserve to be recognized under the law and treated equally in the eyes of society.  And it represents our country at its best: inclusive, open, and striving towards true equality.

But we know that the struggle for LGBT rights doesn’t end with today’s triumph. As love and joy flood our streets today, it is hard to imagine how anyone could deny the full protection of our laws to any of our fellow Americans—but there are those who would. So while we celebrate the progress won today, we must stand firm in our conviction to keep moving forward. For too many LGBT Americans who are subjected to discriminatory laws, true equality is still just out of reach. While we celebrate today, our work won’t be finished until every American can not only marry, but live, work, pray, learn and raise a family free from discrimination and prejudice. We cannot settle for anything less.
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Since she has been tweeting regularly, Hillary has begun to display a real flair for the concise social medium.  Here is her kick-off to Pride Month on Twitter,

 

 

Don’t let the brevity of the message fool you.  Hillary has a long history of support for the LGBT community.  As New York Senator, she marched in parades.

Hillary Clinton

As Secretary of State she heard the requests of LGBT Foreign Service members to extend domestic benefits to partners, promised to investigate the feasibility, found it doable, and within six months of setting foot at Foggy Bottom established those benefits.

Benefits for Same-Sex Domestic Partners of Foreign Service Employees

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 18, 2009

While a career in the Foreign Service is rewarding, the demands to serve our country require great commitment and sacrifice by Foreign Service employees and their families. As in American society, our Foreign Service families come in different configurations; all are part of the common fabric of our Post communities abroad. Family members often uproot their lives, endure hardship conditions, and put their own careers on hold to support our overseas missions. The Department of State acknowledges these vital contributions by providing certain family members with benefits, training, and allowances.
The same has not been true for domestic partners of Foreign Service employees.

Read more >>>>

By definition and job description, Foreign Service officials work in other countries some of which have been hostile to LGBT rights, so, as Secretary of State, Hillary brought the campaign for human rights of LGBT people into the international arena.

Remarks at an Event Co-Hosted by the Department of State and Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) in celebration of LGBT Pride Month

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Dean Acheson Auditorium
Washington, DC
June 27, 2011

… in March, the United States led a major effort at the Human Rights Council in Geneva to get other countries to sign on in support of a statement on ending violence and criminalization based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In the end, 85 countries signed the statement, 18 more than ever had signed onto any previous UN statement on LGBT rights.And in the very next session of the Human Rights Council, just two weeks ago after another major push by American diplomats in Geneva as well as our teams from IO, DRL, EUR, WHA, and other bureaus, the Council passed the first ever UN resolution recognizing the human rights of LGBT people worldwide. And it was especially meaningful that we had South Africa cosponsoring that resolution with us. And with that we took a huge step forward in our work to refute the hateful suggestion that LGBT people are somehow exempt from human rights protections, and we made it absolutely clear that, so far as the United States is concerned and our foreign policy, and our values – that gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.

Read full speech and view video here >>>>

In December 2011 she delivered an historic address in Geneva commemorating Human Rights Day.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Human Rights Day Speech

December 6, 2011

Remarks in Recognition of International Human Rights Day

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Palais des Nations
Geneva, Switzerland
December 6, 2011

She has come to support marriage equality and recently applauded Ireland’s ground-breaking vote with a laudatory tweet.

 

 

While her tweets are compact,  her rationale is rooted in broad investigation and deeply held values.  She was honored for her work in 2012.

Hillary Clinton: Video Remarks for LGBT Pride Award

Video Remarks for LGBT Pride Award

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 6, 2012

A big hello to all of you there in London. I am sorry I can’t be there in person to join the festivities and to say “thank you” for this special award.I want to acknowledge all the people who are working hard to advance human rights in their own communities around the world—people whose names may not be well-known but who are making a difference every day.

They deserve our gratitude and our deep respect.
As I announced in Geneva last December, we’ve launched a Global Equality Fund—a fund that other governments, companies, and foundations can contribute to—that will provide support for civil society groups around the world that are working to protect the human rights of LGBT people.

Read more and view video here >>>>

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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Hillary Rodham Clinton

Remarks to the U.N. 4th World Conference on Women Plenary Session

delivered 5 September 1995, Beijing, China

Hillary Clinton Swears In Melanne Verveer Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare

Question: Prime Minister, could you tell us what more your government can do to try to reduce the very high rates of violence against women in your country?

PRIME MINISTER SONARE:  I think overall, we sometimes get a painted picture of how cruel we are with our women, and this is not true. This is a perception from people like yourself and people who write about us. That’s what they like to paint about this country. And I’m telling you that I have been around for a long time and I know that men and the women, sometimes there are fights, arguments do take place, but it’s nothing very brutal about violence against women…

… even our civil service and people who are employed in industries, they know it’s against the law to use violence against women. We have cases where people are drunk, which you know might (inaudible) a person who cannot control when he’s under the influence of liquor. And you find that sometimes (inaudible) it takes place in some places. We cannot deny it….

… we are doing everything possible, and through the education system alone and allowing the women to play a very important role in a society. That’s the only way we can overcome this problem. But all in all, sometimes it’s exaggerated by people who write about us.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at Women’s Empowerment Event Papua New Guinea

In Afghanistan, U.S. shifts strategy on women’s rights as it eyes wider priorities

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran Washington Post Staff WriterMonday, March 14, 2011

A senior U.S. official involved in Afghanistan policy said changes to the land program also stem from a desire at the top levels of the Obama administration to triage the war and focus on the overriding goal of ending the conflict.

“Gender issues are going to have to take a back seat to other priorities,” said the senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal policy deliberations. “There’s no way we can be successful if we maintain every special interest and pet project. All those pet rocks in our rucksack were taking us down.”

Hillary and Melanne began calling Melanne’s office the “pet rock office.”  Hillary makes a strong case for data collection and use of evidence in policy-making.

Secretary Clinton in San Francisco

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks to the APEC Women and the Economy Summit

… there will be a temptation on the part of those observing or covering this summit, perhaps on the part of those of us attending it as well, to say that our purpose is chiefly to advance the rights of women, to achieve justice and equality on women’s behalf. And that is, of course, a noble cause to be sure and one that is very close to my heart. But at the risk of being somewhat provocative at the outset, I believe our goal is even bolder, one that extends beyond women to all humankind. The big challenge we face in these early years of 21st century is how to grow our economies and ensure shared prosperity for all nations and all people. We want to give every one of our citizens, men and women alike, young and old alike, greater opportunity to find work, to save and spend money, to pursue happiness ultimately to live up to their own God-given potentials.

That is a clear and simple vision to state. But to make it real, to achieve the economic expansion we all seek, we need to unlock a vital source of growth that can power our economies in the decades to come. And that vital source of growth is women. With economic models straining in every corner of the world, none of us can afford to perpetuate the barriers facing women in the workforce.

 

Secretary Clinton: Women, Peace and Security

Hillary does not mention this speech in this chapter, and I know I have linked to it many times over the years including in this retrospective.  To me it crystallizes the integrity of her thinking on so many issues.  Just in case you have missed this must-read, here it is once more.

Hillary Clinton’s Classic Speech to the Lower Mekong Initiative Womens’ Gender Equality and Empowerment Dialogue

Statement on Presidential Memorandum Promoting Gender Equality

I’m so pleased about the Presidential Memorandum that President Obama signed yesterday, which institutionalizes an elevated focus on global women’s issues at the State Department and USAID and ensures coordination on these issues across the federal government. And it is so important that incoming Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed his support for the continued elevation of these issues in our foreign policy.

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Secretary Clinton’s Comments on the Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the Situation in Libya

 

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Human Rights Council

It is time to overcome the false divide that pits religious sensitivities against freedom of expression and pursue a new approach based on concrete steps to fight intolerance wherever it occurs.

U.S. Accomplishments at the UN Human Rights Council

DEFENDING CORE PRINCIPLES

Protecting Freedom of Expression in the Context of Religious Intolerance: The United States was instrumental in galvanizing support for a consensus resolution that marks a sea change in the global dialogue on countering offensive and hateful speech based upon religion or belief. The “Combating Discrimination and Violence” resolution underscores the vital importance of protecting freedom of expression and ends the divisive debate over the highly problematic concept of “defamation of religions.”

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton listens to clergy as she walks out after Sunday service in Beijing

 

Hillary Clinton in Egypt: A Background Briefing

… she will be meeting with women civil society activists from a range of walks of life, some who work on democracy and education and health, some who work in the business sector, so a cross-section of women who also reflect the kind of deep diversity of Egypt’s civil society. And then she’ll be meeting with more than a dozen Christian leaders from across Egypt, who represent a variety of denominations – Coptic Christians, but other Christians as well – to hear from them about their concerns and to talk to them about what they plan to do to contribute to the democratic transition and to a new Egypt over time.

Hillary Clinton in Egypt: Day Two

… democracy has to mean more than just elections. It has to mean that the majority will be protecting the rights of the minority. And here in Egypt, we are committed to protecting and advancing the rights of all Egyptians – men and women, Muslim and Christian. Everyone who is a citizen of Egypt deserves the same rights under the law…

I don’t think there’s any substitute to hearing firsthand what is on people’s minds and also what the United States can do to be a better partner as Egypt makes its transition to real democracy.

 

Hillary Clinton at the Consulate Flag-Raising in Alexandria Egypt

… real democracy means that every citizen has the right to live, work, and worship as they choose, whether they are man or woman, Muslim or Christian, or from any other background. Real democracy means that no group or faction or leader can impose their will, their ideology, their religion, their desires on anyone else.

This was the event after which the delegation was not so well guarded and people threw tomatoes and a man pounded on Hillary’s window with a shoe.

Secretary Clinton’s Statement on the Murder of Ugandan LGBT Activist David Kato

 

Everywhere I travel on behalf of our country, I make it a point to meet with young people and activists — people like David — who are trying to build a better, stronger future for their societies. I let them know that America stands with them, and that their ideas and commitment are indispensible to achieving the progress we all seek.

This crime is a reminder of the heroic generosity of the people who advocate for and defend human rights on behalf of the rest of us — and the sacrifices they make. And as we reflect on his life, it is also an occasion to reaffirm that human rights apply to everyone, no exceptions, and that the human rights of LGBT individuals cannot be separated from the human rights of all persons.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, “Oh, Hillary, here you go again.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni at the London Conference on Somalia

Hillary Clinton Releases 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the Release of the 2009 Annual Report on Human Rights

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks Upon Releasing The 2010 Human Rights Report

Secretary Clinton Releases 2011 Human Rights Report

 Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Clinton Grants Benefits to Same-Sex Domestic Partners of Foreign Service Personnel

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at the State Department LBGT Pride Celebration

… think about what’s happening to people as we speak today. Men and women are harassed, beaten, subjected to sexual violence, even killed, because of who they are and whom they love. Some are driven from their homes or countries, and many who become refugees confront new threats in their countries of asylum. In some places, violence against the LGBT community is permitted by law and inflamed by public calls to violence; in others, it persists insidiously behind closed doors.

These dangers are not “gay” issues. This is a human rights issue. (Applause.) Just as I was very proud to say the obvious more than 15 years ago in Beijing that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, well, let me say today that human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights, once and for all.

Hillary Clinton to LGBT Youth: Tomorrow Will Be Better

Secretary Clinton’s Human Rights Day Speech

Today, I want to talk about the work we have left to do to protect one group of people whose human rights are still denied in too many parts of the world today. In many ways, they are an invisible minority. They are arrested, beaten, terrorized, even executed. Many are treated with contempt and violence by their fellow citizens while authorities empowered to protect them look the other way or, too often, even join in the abuse. They are denied opportunities to work and learn, driven from their homes and countries, and forced to suppress or deny who they are to protect themselves from harm.

I am talking about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, human beings born free and given bestowed equality and dignity, who have a right to claim that, which is now one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time.

CGI 2013 Day Two: Women Decision Makers

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Hillary Clinton Outlines “No Ceilings” Initiative at Pennsylvania Conference for Women

Hillary ends the chapter and her book with reflections about her mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham, who passed away in late 2011.  My heart broke for Hillary when her mother died.  I sat down and wrote a condolence note.  I wrote what was in my heart about her mom and  her loss.  I did not even keep a draft or a copy.  Several weeks later, quite to my astonishment,  I received a lovely thank you note from her.

Hillary Clinton: A Daughter’s Duty

Thing is, the business is never finished.  There is always more to do!

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

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Why Education Matters

The kidnapping of over 300 teenage girls at Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in Nigeria has captivated attention and headlines across the world, inspiring outrage, compassion, and calls to action.  The girls were taken by Boko Haram, whose very name declares that education is sinful.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the girls, their families and those working to bring them home safely.

These devastating acts reflect a much larger problem – girls are being targeted and threatened with violence, kidnapping and more just for seeking an education.

That’s why the global community must stay committed to helping protect and promote girls’ education around the world so that every girl has the opportunity to live up to her full potential.

The numbers tell a hopeful story about progress in girls’ access to education over the past two decades.   Here are some important facts and statistics about girls’ education in Nigeria and across the globe, and why protecting schools like Chibok is vital to girls, women, and the world.

FACTS: Why Education Matters

  1. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2013 shows that where the gender gap is closest to being closed in a range of areas—including access to education, health survivability, economic participation, and political participation—countries and economies are more competitive and prosperous.
  2. Half of the reductions of child mortality between 1970 and 1990 can be attributed to increased education for women of reproductive age.*
  3. A 2011 World Bank report found that investing in girls’ education and opportunities in Nigeria and 13 other developing nations could increase a country’s gross domestic product by 1.2% in a single year.
  4. A 2002 study on the effect of education on average wages estimates that primary school education increases girls’ earnings by 5 to 15 % over their lifetimes.

FACTS: The Gaps that Remain 

  1. Girls and women continue to make up the largest share of the world’s illiterate population (61.3%), and literacy rates in Nigeria hover around 50 to 60%.
  2. Gender gaps are especially wide in places like Sub-Saharan Africa, where 40.1 % of girls and 33.1 % of boys are not enrolled in secondary schools like Chibok. This translates into 11.8 million girls in the region not accessing the education they need to attend university, find work, achieve financial independence, and contribute to a growing economy.**
  3. Girls also face early marriage as barrier to education, and should the girls from Chibok be sold into slavery or forced marriages, their chances of achieving their dreams will be all but dashed. In a study conducted in Kenya, researchers found that a marriage partner is associated with a 78 % increased risk of termination of secondary schooling.
  4. Globally, there are 37.4 million girls not enrolled in lower secondary school compared to 34.2 million boys, a gap of 3.2 million.***

​ It’s an unfortunate reality that it takes an act of courage to seek an education in places like Nigeria. But the girls at Chibok, despite the threats, pursued an education because they and their families understood just how valuable it is. Their resolve will set an example for generations to come and exemplifies the importance of working for the advancement of girls and women across the world so that every girl has a chance to go to school, fulfill her dreams, and break the ceilings and barriers she encounters.

This Mother’s Day, let’s remember the mothers who are missing their daughters, in Nigeria and around the world.

* Emmanuela Gakidou et al., “Increased Educational Attainment and Its Effect on Child Mortality in 175 Countries between 1970 and 2009: A Systematic Analysis,” The Lancet 376, no. 9745 (September 2010): 959–74. Although economic growth was also significantly associated with reductions in child mortality, the magnitude of the association was much smaller than that of increased education. 21 regions, approximately 4 million out of the 8 million children whose lives were saved can be attributed to education for women.
** Shelley Clark and Rohini Mathur, “Dating, Sex, and Schooling in Urban Kenya,” Studies in Family Planning 43, no. 3 (September 2012): 161–74.
*** UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Global Education Digest 2011: Comparing Education Statistics across the World (Montreal, Quebec: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2011).

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Remarks at Presentation of Human Rights Defenders Award

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Embassy
Kampala, Uganda
August 3, 2012

Thank you so much. Well, I am very pleased to be here once again in Kampala and to have the opportunity to present the State Department’s 2011 Human Rights Defenders Award to not just one person, but to a coalition of groups that are standing up for human rights and setting an example for how civil society can work together in common cause.

Now I know our meeting has been months in the making, but I am so delighted to be here in person to meet each of you – some of you I’ve met before, but not all of you – and to put everybody’s face and name and organization together.

Since I became Secretary, we have worked to elevate the role of civil society, and especially groups that promote human rights. And so we want to be your partners as well to help bend the arc of history toward justice and to help more people lead lives of dignity and opportunity. The work you are doing is helping to make human rights a human reality. You are tearing down barriers that prevent people from enjoying the full measure of liberty, the full experience of dignity, the full benefits of humanity. And this coalition shows what can happen when brave change-makers come together.

I’ve said before it is critical for all Ugandans – the government and citizens alike – to speak out against discrimination, harassment, and intimidation of anyone. That’s true no matter where they come from, what they believe, or whom they love. And no one has been a stronger champion than all of you. You’ve been organized, disciplined, and savvy. You have marshaled the evidence and made the arguments using the rights enshrined in Uganda’s constitution and in international law. And by doing so, you are a model for others and an inspiration to the world.

I’m well aware that you do your work often amidst difficult, even dangerous circumstances. I know that some of your lives have been threatened, your friends and families intimidated. But I want you to know that the United States is and will be your partner. I raised these issues with President Museveni today, because this isn’t just about carving out special privileges for any one group; this is about making sure universal rights are protected for all people. A violation of anyone’s rights is a violation of everyone’s rights.

Standing up for human rights is not always popular, but it is always honorable. And I am delighted to present you with this award to celebrate the work of this coalition to defend the human rights of all Ugandans.

Let me come over here, and we’ll have a picture. (Applause.)

In this photo taken, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton applauds members of the Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, or “Coalition”, which opposes anti-homosexuality

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International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
February 6, 2012

 


Today, we mark the ninth annual International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). It is estimated that 100 to 140 million women around the world have undergone this brutal procedure and three million girls are at risk every year. We must continue to act to end this affront to women’s equality and the rights and dignity of women and girls.

No religion mandates this procedure, though it occurs across cultures, religions, and continents. It is performed on girls in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Even in the United States we are fighting this practice. FGM/C became a federal crime in the United States in 1997, but the procedure persists in some communities. The U.S. Government is working with practitioners in the health and legal community to educate groups about the negative consequences of FGM/C.

Over the years, community advocates have found that when men come to understand the physical and psychological trauma FGM/C causes, they often become effective activists for eradication, including fathers who refuse to allow their daughters to be subject to the procedure. Communities must act collectively to abandon the practice, so that girls and their families who opt out do not become social outcasts. This approach has led around 6,000 communities across Africa to abandon the practice, usually through a public declaration. Communities working together can ensure stronger, healthier futures for girls and young women.

Every government has an obligation to protect its citizens from such abuse. As we commemorate International Day of Zero Tolerance and remember those who have been harmed, we reaffirm our commitment to overturning deeply entrenched social norms and abolishing this practice. All women and girls, no matter where they are born or what culture they are raised in, deserve the opportunity to realize their potential.

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