NEW YORK, NY ― “Life hands all of us setbacks,” Hillary Clinton said to a room full of women the day before International Women’s Day. “I’ve had my ups and my downs, in the last months I’ve done my share of sleeping, a little soul-searching and reflecting, long walks in the woods.”
The audience chuckled somewhat sadly, because if anyone understands the impact of a woman’s setback, it’s Clinton and her supporters.
The former Secretary of State and presidential candidate gave a rousing speech at a luncheon for girls empowerment non-profit Girls Inc., calling on women to support women and girls across the country:
In big ways and small, the unfinished business of the 21st century is the full equality of women. There are still too few women in the upper reaches of the private sector, academia, science, technology, not to mention politics and government. And we’ve all heard the saying, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see.’ So each of us should take it upon ourselves to do what we can to help more girls and young women see themselves at the highest reaches of every field.
Clinton was at the luncheon to receive Girls Inc.’s Champion For Girls Award.
“We are honoring Secretary Clinton for her lifelong commitment to the empowerment of girls and women and helping improve the conditions in which they live,” Judy Vredenburgh, President and CEO Girls Inc., told HuffPost. “We share a passion for supporting the young people who need us most; those who are navigating real and profound social and economic barriers.”
Clinton not only stressed the importance of representation, but acknowledged the barriers that young girls and women face when they try to enter fields or positions that have not traditionally been welcoming to women. She also directly called out the need for women to support other women who choose to run for elected office.
“We have to form our own chorus twice as loud convincing our friends, our colleagues, ourselves that women are both smart enough and good enough to be considered for anything they choose to pursue,” she said. “Let us hope there is a wave of young women running for office in America. And let’s be sure we support them in every way we can. Let’s help them shatter stereotypes and lift each other up. They are the history-makers, the glass ceiling breakers of tomorrow.”
Skip to the 12:30 mark to watch Clinton’s remarks.