In her first public statement since President Trump’s inauguration, Hillary Clinton has delivered a powerful message to women everywhere. And, as we’ve come to expect from the former secretary of state, hers is a rallying cry filled with hope, promise, and encouragement for the future.
“Despite all the challenges we face, I remain convinced that yes, the future is female,” she said, in a video presented during the 2017 Makers Conference. “Just look at the amazing energy we saw last month as women organized a march that galvanized millions of people all over our country and across the world.”
The original ‘Nasty Woman’ then called for women around the world to keep the momentum going – and, above all else, to be bold and unstoppable role models for young girls.
“We need strong women to step up and speak out. We need you to dare greatly and lead boldly,” the 69-year-old politician said. “So please, set an example for every woman and girl out there who’s worried about what the future holds and wonders whether our rights, opportunities and values will endure.”
“Remember, you are the heroes and history-makers, the glass ceiling breakers of the future,” added Clinton. “As I’ve said before, I’ll say again – never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.”
Clinton’s rallying cry comes just weeks after Donald Trump reinstated a global gag order that bans US-funded groups around the world from providing – or even talking to women about – safe abortions.
Last year American money helped 27 million women access contraceptives a year, preventing two million unsafe abortions and six million unwanted pregnancies, according to analysis by the Guttmacher Institute. Many activists have said that this gag will cost women their lives. And Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen has said that she fully intends to have the gag rule permanently banned.
Senator Shaheen told Foreign Policy: “I will continue to stand up to President Trump and Republican leadership in Congress who are intent on rolling back women’s access to reproductive healthcare, and will soon be introducing bipartisan legislation aimed to repeal the Global Gag Rule for good.
“Women around the world deserve to make important personal health care decisions without politicians in Washington interfering.”
The 2017 Makers Conference, which kicked off Monday in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, is a “storytelling platform for the trailblazing women of today and tomorrow,” according to its website.
The platform brings women together to discuss issues important to all genders, and boasts original videos and interviews from successful women from diverse fields, including Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and now Clinton.
This year’s conference, the theme of which is ‘Be Bold’, takes place from 6 to 8 February – and will include talks from Susan Sarandon, Octavia Spencer, Debra Messing, and more.
If you aren't available to pop by California’s Rancho Palos Verdes to watch the talks in person, you can watch a livestream on the MAKERS website.