From Iceland — Hillary Clinton At Reykjavík Global Forum Says Gender Equality Has Long Way To Go

Hillary Clinton At Reykjavík Global Forum Says Gender Equality Has Long Way To Go

Published November 10, 2020

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Hillary Clinton spoke yesterday at the Reykjavík Global Forum, which is currently taking place online between the 9th and 11th of November. Fréttablaðið reported on the story here.

The Global Forum gives the following objective on its website: “The 2020 edition of the Reykjavík Global Forum (November 9-11) will provide a unique and significant occasion for women leaders to connect across sectors, to take stock of the new reality created by the pandemic, to share solutions for fostering greater parity in decision-making, and to shape sustainable pathways that can help societies worldwide to ‘build back better’.

“Like so many adversities, COVID-19 has disproportionately affected women, and yet the ways in which we confront the pandemic can also serve as steps toward realising more equal and resilient societies.”

At 4pm yesterday, Hillary Clinton spoke in a ‘Fireside Chat’ with Melanne Verveer, 25 years after her famous speech in Beijing in which she said that women’s rights are human rights. Clinton seemed optimistic about the future following the results of the US presidential election: “I feel better than I have for four years,” she said. “I’m excited about the team of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and I’m looking forward to seeing them take over as President and Vice President; to bring our country together and get us back on the right track in the future.”

Verveer raised Clinton’s 1995 Beijing speech, and asked what Clinton’s goal had been at that meeting and what the significance of the meeting had turned out to be. “I hoped that the United States and other countries would come together in Beijing back in 1995 both with the official delegates and the activists to charge a platform for action, an agenda for moving women’s rights, opportunities, their full participation in society to the very top of the list of what global challenges should be addressed. Out of that conference did come a platform for action, which was hard work, but in the end 189 countries signed up to it and it has proven to be durable.”

Clinton said that twenty-five years on, it was clear how much progress had been made but also that there is still more to be done. The successes she cited were parities in education in many countries, fewer deaths in childbirth, greater access to healthcare, more women elected to positions in government, and more opportunities in the business world. However, gaps remain. The examples Clinton gave included the stagnation of the women’s paid labour force participation, women still carrying the burden of unpaid work in the home and family, the increase of domestic violence during the pandemic, and women still largely being left out of decision making governmental roles, despite their progress.

The full interview can be seen here and below.

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