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Posts Tagged ‘The Daily Beast’

Yes, I borrowed part of that header from a chapter in Hillary Clinton’s book. Interesting not simply for their historical perspective, a couple of articles that popped up today present cautionary tales.

The first, a report from Time on how Russian hackers attacked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, provides not only a blueprint of how that happened but also implies safeguards to be implemented in the future.

While we, of course, expect that Democratic Party officials and future campaigns will improve security going forward based on this knowledge, there are precautions each of us can and should take as individuals. Cyberspace is where a lot of campaigning and organizing takes place, and in the 2016 cycle most of us here were using the internet in communication with the campaign. Any weak link in the network potentially endangers the community and whole operation. We all have an obligation to keep ourselves and each other secure.

So although this is a long read (save it for weekend brunch perhaps), it is a must read. We all go forward better armed if we are informed.


(WASHINGTON) — It was just before noon in Moscow on March 10, 2016, when the first volley of malicious messages hit the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The first 29 phishing emails were almost all misfires. Addressed to people who worked for Clinton during her first presidential run, the messages bounced back untouched.

Except one.

Within nine days, some of the campaign’s most consequential secrets would be in the hackers’ hands, part of a massive operation aimed at vacuuming up millions of messages from thousands of inboxes across the world.

An Associated Press investigation into the digital break-ins that disrupted the U.S. presidential contest has sketched out an anatomy of the hack that led to months of damaging disclosures about the Democratic Party’s nominee. It wasn’t just a few aides that the hackers went after; it was an all-out blitz across the Democratic Party. They tried to compromise Clinton’s inner circle and more than 130 party employees, supporters and contractors.

While U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the email thefts, the AP drew on forensic data to report Thursday that the hackers known as Fancy Bear were closely aligned with the interests of the Russian government.

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The second article, from The Daily Beast, is shorter but equally important. A character sketch of a Russian troll who fooled many, some of them very smart, prominent people, it provides some insight into an how an individual online troll profile appears, communicates, and corrals the unsuspecting into its sphere of influence.

Readers here know that I have been on a campaign to warn folks about an eastern European troll I uncovered and the troll characteristics I discovered in tracking down this entity.

Your Facebook Friend Might Be a Troll If …

September 16, 2017

Location, Location, Location

September 21, 2017

Hillary Clinton is Not Your ‘Mama’ – Stop Calling Her That!

October 22, 2017

I was gratified to find that the Daily Beast article portrayed a character more similar to ‘my troll’ than not.


Jenna Abrams had a lot of enemies on Twitter, but she was a very good friend to viral content writers across the world.

Her opinions about everything from manspreading on the subway to Rachel Dolezal to ballistic missiles still linger on news sites all over the web.

One website devoted an entire article to Abrams’ tweet about Kim Kardashian’s clothes. The story was titled “This Tweeter’s PERFECT Response to Kim K’s Naked Selfie Will Crack You Up.”

“Thank goodness, then, that there are people like Twitter user Jenna Abrams to come to the celebrity’s wardrobe-lacking aide,” reads a Brit & Co. article from March of 2016.

Those same users who followed @Jenn_Abrams for her perfect Kim Kardashian jokes would be blasted with her shoddily punctuated ideas on slavery and segregation just one month later.

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Unlike hackers who seek to breach secure gateways and capture guarded information, trolls seek to gather an audience and influence it or elicit a reaction, usually emotional. While you in fact know little to nothing about them – their location for instance, their actual nationality, who they really are  – they learn a lot about you! Your location, your opinions, even your habits.

So much about Jenna Abrams was similar to ‘my troll’ that they could be sisters.

  1. The impersonation of an American;
  2. The range in types of posts/comments (seemingly frivolous to some embedded with a clear political message);
  3. The linguistic variations among posts (indicating more than one person doing the writing);
  4. The familiarity in imparting ‘information’ (or disinformation – both Jenna and my troll like “Did you know…?”);
  5. The trademark of the troll: targeting an emotional response.

These are just a few similarities I noticed.

If you campaigned the way I did, then you probably at least doubled your Facebook friends and those you follow on Twitter in the course of the 19 months of the 2016  election cycle. It was impossible to spend a lot of time checking deeply into friend requests, and we wanted all the friends and followers we could muster to get people involved. It would be foolhardy to try a deep check on every new friend.

When you read the Daily Beast article and also my post about Facebook friends, you get an idea of how a foreign troll impersonating an American can trip an alarm and why it is important to identify them.

 

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Hillary is up in New England honoring university speaking engagements today.  Meanwhile, here is a really nice shout-out from David Freedlander to those of us who, one way or another, devote large portions of our days and weeks celebrating and promoting Hillary’s hard work.  Thank you, David!

 

Inside the World of Hillary Superfans

They’re ready to do more than just volunteer if Clinton runs in 2016. A Hillary tattoo? Her face on their car? That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty

Politics

One sees them whenever Hillary Clinton arrives in town. Without the means to afford the often hefty ticket price to see her speak, they stand outside with homemade signs, chanting, “Hil-Lar-Ree!” They have replaced the background photograph on their Twitter profile to a simple picture of the former first lady; their bio lists Hillary Clinton alongside their favorite sports teams. For seven years, they have tracked her every move on social media. And the moment Hillary Clinton shoots the starter pistol on the 2016 campaign, they will leave behind jobs, families, and responsibilities, and go where she needs them.
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From the Daily Beast.

 

140404-lagarde-clinton2-cleanMarc Bryan-Brown/Women in the World

Power Players

Hillary Blasts Putin

At the kickoff of the Women in the World Summit, Clinton said Russia needed to be put in its “proper place,” with IMF chief Christine Lagarde at her side.
At the opening evening of the fifth annual Women in the World Summit, Hillary Clinton and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, whom summit founder Tina Brown introduced as “first among women,” were greeted with a standing ovation at New York’s Lincoln Center.
Each is the most popular female politician in her country. Each grew up with brothers and learned how to elbow her way in and operate in a man’s world. Each champions women in their public pronouncements and policies, and when Clinton and Lagarde appeared together at a panel moderated by Thomas L. Friedman, together they called for greater political and economic participation by women around the globe. “Women,” Clinton said from the stage, “are the world’s most untapped resource.”

And this sweet tweet from Hillary ….

 

Great to meet the strong & brave young women from , who refuse to let their voices be silenced in .

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130405-clinton-stage-teaseThe Honoroable Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Women in the World Conference 2013. ( Marc Bryan-Brown )

Thank you so much. Oh, what a wonderful occasion for me to be back here, the fourth Women in the World conference I’ve been privileged to attend, introduced by the founder, creator, and my friend, Tina Brown. When one thinks about this annual conference, it really is intended to—and I believe has— focus attention on the global challenges facing women, from equal rights and education to human slavery, literacy, the power of the media and technology to affect change in women’s futures, and so much else. And for that I thank Tina and the great team that she has worked with in order to produce this conference and the effects it has created. It’s been such an honor to work with all of you over the years. Though it’s hard to see from up here out into the audience, I did see some faces and I know that this is an occasion for so many friends and colleagues to come together and take stock for where we stand and what more needs to be done in advancing the great unfinished business of the 21st century: advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls.

Now this is unfinished around the world, where too many women are still treated at best as second-class citizens, at worst as some kind of subhuman species. Those of you who were there last night saw that remarkable film that interviewed men primarily in Pakistan, talking very honestly about their intention to continue to control the women in their lives and their reach. But the business is still unfinished here in the United States, we have come so far together but there’s still work to be done.

I look forward to being your partner in all the days and years ahead.

Now, I have always believed that women are not victims, we are agents of change, we are drivers of progress, we are makers of peace – all we need is a fighting chance.

And that firm faith in the untapped potential of women at home and around the world has been at the heart of my work my entire life, from college to law school, from Arkansas to the White House to the Senate. And when I became Secretary of State, I was determined to weave this perspective even deeper into the fabric of American foreign policy.

But I knew to do that, I couldn’t just preach to the usual choir. We had to reach out. To men. To religious communities. To every partner we could find. We had to make the case to the whole world that creating opportunities for women and girls advances security and prosperity for everyone. So we relied on the empirical research that shows that when women participate in the economy, everyone benefits. When women participate in peace-making and peace-keeping, we are all safer and more secure. And when women participate in politics of their nations they can make a difference.

But as strong a case as we’ve made, too many otherwise thoughtful people continue to see the fortunes of women and girls as somehow separate from society at large. They nod, they smile and then relegate these issues once again to the sidelines. I have seen it over and over again, I have been kidded about it I have been ribbed, I have been challenged in board rooms and official offices across the world.

But fighting to give women and girls a fighting chance isn’t a nice thing to-do. It isn’t some luxury that we get to when we have time on our hands to spend doing that . This is a core imperative for every human being and every society. If we do not complete a campaign for women’s rights and opportunities the world we want to live in the country we all love and cherish will not be what it should be.

It’s no coincidence that so many of the countries that threaten regional and global peace are the very places where women and girls are deprived of dignity and opportunity. Think of the young women from northern Mali to Afghanistan whose schools have been destroyed. Or the girls across Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia who have been condemned to child marriage. Or the refugees of the conflicts from eastern Congo to Syria who endure rape and deprivation as a weapon of war.

It is no coincidence that so many of the countries where the rule of law and democracy are struggling to take root are the same places where women and girls cannot participate as full and equal citizens. Like in Egypt, where women stood on the front lines of the revolution but are now being denied their seats at the table and face a rising tide of sexual violence.

It is no coincidence that so many of the countries making the leap from poverty to prosperity are places now grappling with how to empower women. I think it is one of the unanswered questions of the rest of this century to whether countries, like China and India, can sustain their growth and emerge as true global economic powers. Much of that depends on what happens to women and girls.

None of these are coincidences. Instead, they demonstrate – and your presence here confirms – that we are meeting at a remarkable moment of confluence.

Because in countries and communities across the globe where for generations violence against women has gone unchecked, opportunity virtually unknown, there is a powerful new current of grassroots activism stirring, galvanized by events too outrageous to ignore and enabled by new technologies that give women and girls voices like never before. That’s why we need to seize this moment. But we need to be thoughtful and smart and savvy about what this moment really offers to us.

Now many of us have been working and advocating and fighting for women and girls for more decades than we care to remember. And I think we can be and should proud of all that we’ve achieved. Conferences like this one have been part of that progress. But let’s recognize, much of our advocacy is still rooted in a 20th century, top-down frame. The world is changing beneath our feet and it is past time to embrace a 21st century approach to advancing the rights and opportunities of women and girls and home and across the globe.

Think about it. You know, technology, from satellite television to cell phones from Twitter to Tumblr, is helping bring abuses out of the shadows and into the center of global consciousness, Think of that woman in a blue bra beaten in Tahrir Square, think about that 6-year old girl in Afghanistan about to be sold into marriage to settle a family debt.

Just as importantly, technological change are helping inspire, organize, and empower grassroots action. I have seen this and that is where progress is coming and that’s where our support is needed. we have a tremendous stake in the outcome.

Today, more than ever, we see clearly that the fate of women and girls around the world is tied up with the greatest security and economic challenges of our time.

Consider Pakistan, a proud country with a rich history that recently marked a milestone in its democratic development when a civilian government completed its full term for the very first time. It is no secret that Pakistan is plagued by many ills: violent extremism and sectarian conflict, poverty, energy shortages, corruption, weak democratic institutions. It is a combustible mix. And more than 30,000 Pakistani civilians have been killed by terrorists in the last decade.

The repression of women in Pakistan exacerbates all of these problems.

More than 5 million children do not attend school – and two-thirds of them are girls. The Taliban insurgency has made the situation even worse.

As Malala has said and reminded us: “We live in the 21st century… How can we be deprived from education?” Whe went on to say, “I have the right to play. I have the right to sing. I have the right to talk. I have the right to go to market. I have the right to speak up.”

How many of us here today would have that kind of courage? The Taliban recognized young girl, 14-year at the time as a serious threat. And you know what they were right– she was a threat. extremism thrives amid ignorance and anger, intimidation and cowardice. As Malala said, “If this new generation is not given pens, they will be given guns.”

But the Taliban miscalculated. They thought that if they silenced Malala, and thank god they didn’t, that not only she, but her cause would die. Instead, they inspired millions of Pakistanis to finally say, “Enough is enough.” You heard it directly from those two brave young Pakistani women yesterday. And they are not alone. People marched in the streets and signed petitions demanding that every Pakistani child – girls as well as boys – have the opportunity to attend school. And that in itself was a rebuke to the extremists and their ideology.

I’m well aware that improving life for Pakistan’s women is not a panacea. But it’s impossible to imagine making real progress on the country’s other problems – especially violent extremism – without tapping the talents and addressing the needs of Pakistan’s women, including reducing corruption, ending the culture of impunity, expanding access to education to credit, to all the tools that give a woman and man make the most of their life’s dreams. None of this will be easy or quick. But the grassroots response to Malala’s shooting gives us hope for the future.

Again and again we have seen women drive peace and progress. In Northern Ireland, Catholic and Protestant women like Inez McCormick came together to demand an end to the Troubles and helped usher in the Good Friday Accords. In Liberia, women marched and protested until the country’s warlords agreed to end their civil war, they prayed the devil back to hell, and they twice elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the first woman president in Africa. An organization called Sisters Against Violent Extremism now connects women in more than a dozen countries who have risked their lives to tell terrorists that they are not welcome in their communities.

So the next time you hear someone say that the fate of women and girls is not a core national security issue, it’s not one of those hard issues that really smart people deal with, remind them: The extremists understand the stakes of this struggle. They know that when women are liberated, so are entire societies. We must understand this too. And not only understand it, but act on it.

And the struggles do not end when countries attempt the transition to democracy. We’ve seen that very clearly the last few years,

Many millions including many of us were inspired and encouraged by the way women and men worked together during the revolutions in places like Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. But we know that all over the world when the dust settles, too often women’s gains are lot to better organized powers of oppression.

We see seeing women largely shut out of decision-making. We see women activists believe they are being targeted by organized campaigns of violence and intimidation.

But still, many brave activists, women and men alike, continue to advocate for equality and dignity for all Egyptians, Tunisians, and Libyans. They know the only way to realize the promise of the Arab Spring is with the full participation of half the population.

Now what is true in politics is also true economics.

In the years ahead, a number of rapidly-developing nations are poised to reshape the global economy, lift many millions out of poverty and into the middle class. This will be good for them and good for us – it will create vast new markets and trading partners.

But no country can achieve its full economic potential when women are left out or left behind… a fact underscored day after day and most recently to me a tragedy in india.

Concerning the young 23-year-old woman, brutally beaten and raped on a Delhi bus last December she was from a poor farming family, but like so many women and men she wanted to climb that economic ladder. She had aspirations for her life. She studied all day to become a physical therapist, then went to work at call centers in the evening, she sleep two hours a night. President Mukherjeeofdescribed her as a “symbol of all that New India strives to be.”

But if her life embodied the aspirations of a rising nation, her death, her murder, pointed to the many challenges still holding it back. The culture of rape is tied up with a broader set of problems: official corruption, illiteracy, inadequate education, laws and traditions, customs, culture, that prevent women from being seen as equal human beings. In addition, in many places, India and China being the leaders, there’s a skewed gender balance with many more men than women, which contributes to human trafficking, child marriage, and other abuses that dehumanize women and corrode society.

So millions of Indians took to the streets in 2011, they protested corruption. In 2012, came the Delhi gang rape, and the two causes merged. Demands for stronger measures against rape were joined by calls for better policing and more responsive governance, for an India that could protect all its citizens and deliver the opportunities they deserve. Some have called that the “Indian Spring.”

Because as the protesters understood, India will rise or fall with its women. Its had a tradition of strong women leaders, but those women leaders like women leaders around the world like those who become presidents or prime ministers or foreign ministers or heads of corporations cannot be seen as tokens that give everyone else in society the chance to say we’ve taken care of our women. So any country that wants to rise economically and improve productivity needs to open the doors.

Latin America and the Caribbean have steadily increased women’s participation in the labor market since the 1990s, and now they account for more than half of all workers. The World Bank estimates that extreme poverty in the region has decreased by 30 percent as a result.

Here in the United States, American women went from holding 37 percent of all jobs forty years ago to nearly 48 percent today. And the productivity gains attributable to this increase account for more than $3.5 trillion in GDP growth over four decades. Similarly, fast-growing Asian economies could boost their per capita incomes by as much as 14 percent by 2020 if they bring more women into the workforce.

Laws and traditions that hold back women hold h hold back entire societies, creating more opportunities for women and girls will grow economies and spread prosperity. When I first began talking about this using rape data from the World Bank and private sector analyses there were doubters who couldn’t quite put the pieces together. But that debate is over. Opening the doors to one’s economy will make a difference.

Now, I want to conclude where I began, with the unfinished business we face here at home. The challenges and opportunities I’ve outlined today are not just for the people of the developing world. America must face this too if we want to continue leading the world.

Traveling the globe these last four years reaffirmed and deepened my pride in our country and the ideals we represent. But it also challenged me to think about who we are and the values we are supposed to be living here at home in order to represent abroad After all, our global leadership for peace and prosperity for freedom and equality is not a birthright. It must be earned by every generation.

And yes, we now have American women at high levels of business, academia, and government. But, as we’ve seen in recent months, we’re still asking age-old questions about how to make women’s way in male-dominated fields, how to balance the demands of work and family. The Economist magazine recently published what it called a “glass-ceiling index” ranking countries based on factors like opportunities for women in the workplace and equal pay. The United States wasn’t even in the top 10. Worse, recent studies have found that, on average, women live shorter lives in America than in any other major industrialized country.

Think about it. We are the richest and most powerful country in the world. Yet many American women today are living shorter lives than their mothers, especially those with the least education. That is a historic reversal that rivals the decline in life expectancy for Russian men after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Now there is no single explanation for why this is happening. Prescription drug overdoses have spiked: obesity, smoking, lack of health insurance, intractable poverty. But the fact is that for too many American women, opportunity and the dream of upward mobility – the American Dream– remains elusive.

That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. I think of the extraordinary sacrifices my mother made to survive her own difficult childhood, to give me not only life, but opportunity along with love and inspiration. And I am proud that my own daughter and I look at all these young women I’m privileged to work with or know through Chelsea and it’s hard to imagine turning the clock back on them. But in places throughout America large and small the clock is turning back.

So, we have work to do. Renewing America’s vitality at home and strengthening our leadership abroad will take the energy and talents of all our people, women and men.

If America is going to lead, we need to learn from the women of the world who have blazed new paths and developed new solutions, on everything from economic development to education to environmental protection.

If America is going to lead, we need to catch up with so much of the rest of the world and finally ratify the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women.

If America is going to lead, we need to stand by the women of Afghanistan after our combat troops come home, we need to speak up for all the women working to realize the promise of the Arab Spring, and do more to save the lives of the hundreds of thousands of mothers who die every year during childbirth from preventable causes and so much more.

But that’s not all.

Because if America is going to lead we expect ourselves to lead, we need to empower women here at home to participate fully in our economy and our society, we need to make equal pay a reality, we need to extending family and medical leave benefits to more workers and make them paid, we need to encouraging more women and girls to pursue careers in math and science.

We need to invest in our people, women and men, so they can live up to their own God-given potential.

That’s how America will lead in the world.

So let’s learn from the wisdom of every mother and father all over the world who teach their daughters that there is no limit on how big she can dream and how much she can achieve.

This truly is the unfinished business of the 21st century. And It is the work we are all called to do. I look forward to being to be your partner and champion in the days and years ahead. Lets keep fighting for opportunity, let’s keep pushing for participation. And let’s keep telling the world that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.

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We wondered why her name was not on the original list of speakers, but now it is official.  Hillary Clinton will once again grace this event.

Hillary Clinton Joins Women in the World Summit

Mar 21, 2013 3:39 PM EDT

In one of her first appearances since leaving the State Dept., Clinton will join some of the world’s most inspirational women at our fourth Women in the World Summit.

In one of her first appearances since leaving the State Department, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be joining the Women in the World Summit to be held April 4 and 5 at New York’s Lincoln Center.  The annual summit, now in its fourth year, illuminates global issues through the voices of leaders, activists, artists, and pioneers who are confronting the most urgent challenges faced by women and girls around the world.

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2010
The Daily Beast Hosts "Women In The World: Stories And Solutions"
2011
2nd Annual Diller-Von Furstenberg Awards
2012
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Not for the first time, and probably not for the last, our lovely Hillary graces the cover of Newsweek.  Tomasky gets it wrong, though, right in the first paragraph because we know she gets her scrunchies at Rite Aid not CVS, and she goes there to choose them personally.  She does not send errand people.

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From Newsweek

Hillary Clinton Exits Politics: Her Enduring Legacy

Michael Tomasky

She changed the game irrevocably, and now she’s about to transform it again—by walking away. 

And now, as of this week, Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes something she has not been in two decades: a private citizen. A mind-boggling thought, really, rich in amusingly prosaic implications. Will she drive a car? Is she going to pop up at the Safeway (you’re supposed to bring your own bags now, Madame Secretary!) or be found standing in line at the Friendship Heights multiplex? She’ll still have Secret Service protection, and she has more than enough money to send other people out on a CVS run. But even so, she is now, for the first time in a very, very long time, just one of us
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Here’s our girl at “Women in the World 2012” today.

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Remarks at the Women in the World Summit

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Lincoln Center
New York City
March 10, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON:So how do you like my jacket? (Laughter and applause.) I cannot believe what just happened. (Laughter.) I really had no idea what was going to be portrayed or done by Meryl. I thought we might get some extraordinary renditions of everyone from Aung San Suu Kyi to Indira Gandhi, a reprise of Margaret Thatcher. And it was quite astonishing because I’ve always admired her. And as she said, we do unfortunately throughout our lives as girls and women often cast an appraising eye on each other. I’m just glad she didn’t do a movie called The Devil Wears Pantsuits. (Laughter.)But just as I marked various stages of my life by remembering what amazing role she was playing at the time, it is quite a humbling experience to have someone who I admire so greatly say what she said today. Because the work that I’ve done has been work that I felt drawn to for some of the same reasons that Meryl and I share these generational experiences, particularly these big-hearted mothers who challenged us to go as far as our efforts could take us.

So here we are at the end – it truly is the end – of the conference that has brought all of these women of the world, in the world, to New York. And I want to thank Tina Brown and her entire team that worked so hard to enable everyone to see what I get to see all the time. (Applause.) I just can’t thank you enough. (Applause.)

Because for me, it has not been so much work as a mission, it has not been as strenuous as it has been inspiring, to have had the chance throughout my life, but certainly in these last 20 years, to have the privilege of meeting women and girls in our own country and then throughout the world who are taking a stand, whose voices are being heard, who are assuming the risks that come with sticking your neck out, whether you are a democracy activist in Burma or a Georgetown law student in the United States. (Applause.)

My life has been enriched, and I want yours to be as well. I am thrilled that so many of you have taken the time out of your own lives to celebrate these stories of these girls and women. And of course, now I hope that through your own efforts, through your own activism, through the foundations, through your political involvement, through your businesses, through every channel you have, you will leave here today thinking about what you too can do. Because when I flag in energy, when I do recognize that what my friends are telling me – that I need more sleep – is probably true, I think about the women whom I have had the honor to work with. Women like Dr. Gao, who Meryl met, who is about – well, she’s shorter than the podium. She is in her ‘80s now. She did have bound feet. She became a doctor and she was the physician who sounded the alarm about HIV/AIDS despite the Chinese Government’s efforts for years to silence her.

Or I think about Vera, the activist from Belarus whom I met. She’s worked so hard to shine a spotlight on the abuses happening right inside Europe one more time – another regime that believes silencing voices, locking up dissidents, rigging elections, is the only way to stay in power. So she and her allies brave the abuse every single day to say no, there is another way.

Or Inex, who Meryl also mentioned, who I got to know during our efforts on behalf of the peace process in Northern Ireland. And she was reaching across all of these deep divides between the communities there, trying to forge understanding and build bridges. And like Muhtaren, the Pakistani young woman who had been so brutally assaulted for some absurd remnant out of an ancient belief in settling scores between families which should have no place in any country in the 21st century – (applause) – she was expected to kill herself. Well, of course; you’ve been shamed, you’ve been dishonored; through no fault of your own, you are now dead to us, so just finish the job. Well, she not only didn’t, but she is a living rebuke to not only those who assaulted her but to the government that did not recognize it needs to protect all of its girls and women, because without their full involvement in their society, there can never be the progress that is so necessary.

Now, I doubt any of these women would have ever imagined being mentioned on a stage by an Oscar-winning actress. I know I didn’t imagine I would be so mentioned on this stage. (Laughter.) But they are because they are special. We know about their stories. Somehow, we have seen their struggles break through the indifference and the resistance to telling the stories of girls and women who are struggling against such odds across the world.

But they also represent so much more. Because this hall – I know because I know many of you – are filled with women and men who are on the front lines fighting for change, for justice, for freedom, for equal rights. And there are tens of millions more who need our support. So what does it mean to be a Woman in the World? Well, I too believe it means facing up to the obstacles you confront, and each of us confront different kinds. It means never giving up – giving up on yourself, giving up on your potential, giving up on your future. It means waking early, working hard, putting a family, a community, a country literally on your back, and building a better life.

You heard from Zin Mar Aung, the Burmese democracy activist who spoke earlier. When I met her late last year when I, on your behalf, on behalf of our country, went to Burma, I discussed with her and other activists what civil society would now be able to do to further the political and the economic reforms that the people so desperately need. And we did honor her along with nine extraordinary other women as International Women of Courage at the State Department.

She, as you could see, came out of prison not embittered, although she had every right to be so, but determined, determined to make her contribution. She didn’t have time to feel sorry for herself, to worry whether her hair was the right shade or the right length. She got to work. And because of her, she’s founded four organizations, she’s working with young people and women to build civil society and citizenship. She raises funds for orphanages, she helps the families of political prisoners trying to re-enter into society, and she is one of those watering the seeds of democracy.

Or consider the young Nepali woman Suma, who sang so beautifully for us. (Applause.) You know what her story was. Six years old, sold into indentured servitude, working under desperate conditions, not allowed to go to school, not even allowed to speak her own native language. But then finally rescued by an NGO, an organization supported by the United States State Department, your tax dollars, called Room to Read, helped her enroll in a local school. We’ve helped 1,200 girls across India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka complete their secondary education.

So there is much we can do together. And I have to tell you, I thought it was exquisitely appropriate as I woke up and was getting ready this morning to open The New York Times front page and see Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel there. (Applause.) I know both of them and I think they are worthy of our appreciation and admiration, because boy, do they have hard jobs. Christine, who was here, is demonstrating not only her leadership at the IMF but also sending a message that there is no longer any reason that women cannot achieve in business, finance, the economy. And Chancellor Merkel is carrying Europe on her shoulders, trying to navigate through this very difficult economic crisis.

Now, I also heard a report of the call to action and the passion that Leymah Gbowee, our Nobel Peace Prize winner, along with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from Liberia summoned you to. Now, for those of you who have seen the movie Pray the Devil Back to Hell, you know what happened in Liberia in the spring of 2003. But for others of you who may not yet have seen it, I urge you to do so, because thousands of women from all walks of life – Christians and Muslims together – flooded the streets, marching, singing, praying. Dressed all in white, they sat in a fish market under the hot sun under a banner that said: “The women of Liberia want peace now.” And they built a network and they delivered for their children and for future generations. It was an extraordinary accomplishment. (Applause.)

And when the peace talks finally happened in Ghana – not in Liberia – they went to Ghana. They staged a sit-in at the negotiations, linked arms, blocked the doors until the men inside reached an agreement. So the peace was signed, the dictator fled, but still they did not rest. They turned their energies to building an enduring peace. They worked to elect Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who became the first woman ever elected president of an African country. And in January, I had the honor of attending her second inauguration. (Applause.)

I just saw my good friend, President Jahjaga of Kosovo. She’s a very young president, but already her life is a testament for what women can do to promote peace and security. She was still a student when the war started. She saw so much suffering. She wanted to help. So after finishing her studies, she became a police officer. She worked closely with international troops to forge a fragile peace. She rose through the ranks and eventually became the leader of the new Kosovo police force. And then just last year, she became the first woman elected president anywhere in the Balkans. (Applause.) And she has worked to bring her country together to promote the rule of law, ethnic reconciliation, regional stability – all the while standing up for the rights and opportunities of women and girls.

You can look around the world today and you can see the difference that individual women leaders are making. Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who’s now leading UN women. They carry an enormous load for the rest of us, because it is hard for any leader – male or female. But I don’t fear contradiction when I say it is harder for women leaders. There are so many built-in expectations, stereotypes, caricatures that are still deeply embedded in psyches and cultures.

When I sat down alone for dinner with Aung San Suu Kyi back in November, it really did feel like meeting an old friend, even though it was the first time we’ve had a chance to see each other in person. Of course, from afar I had admired her and appreciated her courage. I went to the house where she had been unjustly imprisoned. Over dinner, we talked about the national struggle, but we also talked about the personal struggle. How does one who has been treated so unjustly overcome that personal sense of anger, of the years that were lost, families that were no longer seen, in order to be a leader that unites and brings people together? Nelson Mandela set such a high standard, and he often told me how going to prison forced him to overcome the anger he felt as a young man, because he knew when he walked out that prison door, if he were still angry, if he still was filled with hatred, he would still be in prison.

Now, Aung San Suu Ky, like Nelson Mandela, would have been remembered in history forever if she had not made the decision to enter politics, as he did as well. So there she is at, I think, 67, out traveling in an open car through the heat of the countryside, meeting crowds of tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, absorbing their hopes that they are putting onto her. She knows that when she crosses into politics, even though it is ultimately the way change is made that can last, she moves from being an icon to a politician. I know that route. (Laughter.) And I know how hard it is to be able to balance one’s ideals, one’s aspirations, with the give and take of any political process anywhere in the world.

Now, we can tell stories all night and we can talk about the women who have inspired us. But what inspires me is not just who they are, but what they do. They roll their sleeves up and they get to work. And this has such important implications for our own country and for our national security, because our most important goals – from making peace and countering extremism to broadening prosperity and advancing democracy – depend to a very large degree on the participation and partnership of women.

Nations that invest in women’s employment, health, and education are just more likely to have better outcomes. Their children will be healthier and better educated. And all over the world, we’ve seen what women do when they get involved in helping to bring peace. So this is not just the right thing to do for us to hold up these women, to support them, to encourage their involvement; this is a strategic imperative.

And that’s why at the State Department, I’ve made women a cornerstone of American foreign policy. I’ve instructed our diplomats and development experts to partner with women, to find ways to engage and build on their unique strengths, help women start businesses, help girls attend school, push that women activists will be involved in peace talks and elections. It also means taking on discrimination, marginalization, rape as a tactic of war. I have seen the terrible abuses and what that does to the lives of women, and I know that we cannot rest until it is ended.

In December, we launched a U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, which is our roadmap for how we accelerate and institutionalize efforts across the United States Government to advance women’s participation. And we’re taking on some really tough problems. We’re trying to build local capacity. We’re giving grants to train women activists and journalists in Kenya in early-warning systems for violence. We’re supporting a new trauma center for rape victims in Sudan. We’re helping women in the Central African Republic access legal and economic services. We’re improving the collection of medical evidence for the prosecution of gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

And that’s just the beginning, because from around the world, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Sudan to the new transitional democracies in the Middle East and North Africa, we’re expecting our embassies to develop local strategies to empower women politically, economically, and socially.

But we are watching carefully what is happening. We are concerned about the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. They held so much promise, but they also carried real risks, especially for women. We saw women on the front lines of the revolutions, most memorably in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. They marched, they blogged, they tweeted, they risked their lives alongside their sons and brothers – all in the name of dignity and opportunity. But after the revolution, too often they have found their attempts to participate in their new democracies blocked. We were delighted that our great Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg went on a State Department-sponsored trip to Egypt and Tunisia. And while there, she rightly said the daughters of the Middle East “should be able to aspire and achieve based on the talent God gave them and not be held back by any laws made by men.” (Applause.)

Just a few weeks ago in a town hall meeting in Tunis, a young woman wearing a head scarf stood up and talked about her experience working in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in a program that we call Bridge to Democracy. She said that often people she met were surprised that a young women wearing a hijab would work with Americans, and that we would work with her. Gradually, she said, these preconceptions broke down and increasingly people are just eager to find new partners to help build their new democracy. I told her that in America, in Tunisia, anywhere in the world, women should have the right to make their own choices about what they wear, how they worship, the jobs they do, the causes they support. These are choices women have to make for themselves, and they are a fundamental test of democracy.

Now, we know that young woman in Tunisia and her peers across the region already are facing extremists who will try to strip their rights, curb their participation, limit their ability to make choices for themselves. Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me. But they all seem to. It doesn’t matter what country they’re in or what religion they claim. They want to control women. They want to control how we dress, they want to control how we act, they even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies. (Applause.) Yes, it is hard to believe that even here at home, we have to stand up for women’s rights and reject efforts to marginalize any one of us, because America needs to set an example for the entire world. (Applause.) And it seems clear to me that to do that, we have to live our own values and we have to defend our own values. We need to respect each other, empower all our citizens, and find common ground.

We are living in what I call the Age of Participation. Economic, political, and technological changes have empowered people everywhere to shape their own destinies in ways previous generations could never have imagined. All these women – these Women in the World – have proven that committed individuals, often with help, help from their friends, can make a difference in their own lives and far beyond.

So let me have the great privilege of ending this conference by challenging each of you. Every one of us needs to be part of the solution. Each of us must truly be a Woman in the World. We need to be as fearless as the women whose stories you have applauded, as committed as the dissidents and the activists you have heard from, as audacious as those who start movements for peace when all seems lost. Together, I do believe that it is part of the American mission to ensure that people everywhere, women and men alike, finally have the opportunity to live up to their own God-given potential. So let’s go forth and make it happen. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Added bonus: Here is a lovely article by Eleanor Clift  about how Meryl Streep introduced our cherished Secretary of State.

Meryl Streep to Play Hillary Clinton?

by Mar 10, 2012 3:11 PM EST

The Oscar-winning actress compares herself to the secretary of state, with not a few eyebrows raised.

SNIP

… Streep catalogued the parallel path that she and Clinton traveled, both products of public high schools who then went on to attend a women’s college. Both called home from the dorm that first semester, worried they weren’t as smart as the other girls and shouldn’t be there. “Don’t be ridiculous; you’re not a quitter,” their mothers told them. Both went on to graduate school at Yale. That’s where their paths diverged, Streep said. “I was a cheerleader; Hillary was head of student government. I was the lead in all three musicals; I’m told that Hillary should never be encouraged to sing…”
“But she is the voice of her generation. I’m an actress, and she is the real deal,” Streep said. Holding up the Oscar she won for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, Streep declared, “This is what you get when you play a world leader, but if you want a real world leader, and you’re really, really lucky, this is what you get.” And with that, Streep turned to welcome Clinton on stage.

Read the article  >>>>

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