Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called for increased commitment to women’s rights and human rights around the world during a Georgetown event on Friday.
“Our government is turning its back on refugees and people seeking asylum, ripping children away from their parents and waging an all-out, concerted assault on women’s health and rights,” she said.
Her remarks were part of the annual Hillary Rodham Clinton awards ceremony, hosted by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS).
Clinton and Georgetown President John J. DeGioia presented awards to three women who are powerful voices for human rights in their international and local positions.
The awardees included Michelle Bachelet, chosen for her leadership as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and her precedent-setting achievement as the first female president of Chile between 2006-2010 and 2014-2018.
She previously served as the first female defense minister of Chile and as the inaugural executive director of UN Women.
“It is deeply troubling to see that instead of moving forward, some governments are pushing back on women’s rights,” Bachelet said. “There seems to be a renewed obsession of limiting and controlling women’s decisions over their bodies and lives.”
“I humbly accept the Hillary Rodham Clinton Award on behalf of all the women and girls who inspire me daily by defending human rights – in their governments, at work, at school, at home, in demonstrations,” she added.
Clinton also recognized two women working to combat gang violence and promote women’s rights in Central America: Virginia Marta Velásquez and Rosa Anaya.
Virginia Marta Velásquez provides services to survivors of gang violence and domestic violence in Choloma, Honduras through Movimiento de Mujeres de la Colonia López Arellano (MOMUCLAA).
“Each day when we awaken, we hear news of yet another woman who has been murdered,” Velásquez said. “We need to continue to fight for our rights and fight against the patriarchy so our rights become more visible.”
In El Salvador, Rosa Anaya is rehabilitating prison inmates through Second Chances, a Catholic Relief Services program. She provides vulnerable youth, gang members and inmates with skills, job access and psychosocial support, helping them become productive members of society.
“Greta Thunberg is angry and I am angry too,” said Anaya. “What kind of a society have we created that our children think they are more valued in a gang than in their homes?”
“We can focus on the problem or we can start to be creative,” she added.
|Watch the 2019 Hillary Rodham Clinton awards ceremony here.|