On the topic of Violence Against Women from Secretary of State designee Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s confirmation hearings 1/13/09


Doug Mills/The New York Times

Senator BOXER:
“…..I don’t think we can look away from the plight in women in the world….Nicholas Kristof confronts these issues in a series of compelling articles. In one, he tells us about the recent acid attack against young girls in Afghanistan, where they’re going to school with their teachers…..He profiles a story……of a Pakistani woman who was viciously burned by her husband with acid because she dared to divorce him……..Thousands of women have suffered similar attacks throughout Asia, and no prosecutions, senator. Kristof tells us the story of a Vietnamese girl named Sina Vann who was kidnapped at age 13; she was sold into sex slavery in Cambodia. When she refused to see customers, she was tortured brutally with electric shocks and locked in a coffin full of insects. And Kristof illustrates an act of horrific brutality in a piece called “If This Isn’t Slavery, What Is?” in which a young Cambodian girl had her eye gouged out by her brothel owner after taking time off to recover from a forced abortion…….No woman or girl should ever have to live in fear or face persecution for being born female.”

Senator CLINTON: “……I have been honored to be your colleague and your partner in a number of these efforts that have been undertaken on behalf of women around the world.  And I want to pledge to you that as secretary of state I view these issues as central to our foreign policy, not as adjunct or auxiliary or in any way lesser than all of the other issues that we have to confront. I, too, have followed the stories that are exemplified by the pictures that you held up. I mean, it is heartbreaking beyond words that, you know, young girls are attacked on their way to school by Taliban sympathizers and members who do not want young women to be educated. It’s not complicated: They want to maintain an attitude that keeps women, as I said in my testimony, unhealthy, unfed, uneducated.  And this is something that results all too often in violence against these young women, both within their families and from the outside. This is not culture. This is not custom. This is criminal. And it will be my hope to persuade more governments, as I have attempted to do since I spoke at Beijing on these issues, you know, 13 and some years ago, that we cannot have a free, prosperous, peaceful, progressive world if women are treated in such a discriminatory and violent way…..I take very seriously the function of the State Department to lead our government through the Office on Human Trafficking to do all that we can to end this modern form of slavery. We have sex slavery, we have wage slavery, and it is primarily a slavery of girls and women……we’re going to have a very active women’s office, a very active office on trafficking. We’re going to be speaking out consistently and strongly against discrimination and oppression of women and slavery in particular, because I think that is in keeping not only with American values, as we all recognize, but American national security interests as well.”

Senator BOXER: “…..I wanted to note, Mr. Chairman, that even the most conservative historians have said that if women in the world could be allowed to live up to their potential it would bring the whole world forward. A lot of the problems we face really come from this mindset that half of the population doesn’t matter and can be abused. And they’re ignored or hurt and can’t contribute.”

Full Transcript
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/13/us/politics/13text-clinton.html?pagewanted=print <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001-WEDhcenbBK9pGCcQPu0KTKjvFkaJqggjbE2Y_JIF6cUBVW2f1ho3-8Oe7Crs_iiCQAH6LBL2ScOsceaX4bDHiXazXUTz0WfT2w6LbVriXtGeT4MXVi1tpbP_GPsl_tgYwLI_a272OWLurDgAsPWv-MxLMXt48qEyMacEmzhbDfKzWitW2AHPEgOSGM8hA1No61Q3-ff0d5CdIzea3Ixtg==>

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