The Hillary Effect: How Will the Secretary of State Change the Status of Women Worldwide?

On Monday, I'm delighted to be attending a panel discussion in honor of the 2009 International Women's Day celebrations!  This global holiday celebrates the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future. Here in NYC, the World Policy Institute, the Women's Leadership Initiative at Demos, and The American-Scandinavian Foundation have organized:


Though Mrs. Clinton is the third female US Secretary of State, some think that her appointment could herald a new chapter for global women's rights. She is, after all, a candidate who ran for President partly on the fact that she was a female and that "it was time." Will Hillary Clinton extend that platform to her diplomacy? Can she? Should she? If so, what should her policy priorities be? Will she identify the United States, as she sought to do during her time as First Lady, with women's rights? What will be the fate of the Bush Administration's controversial women's initiative to the Arab world? What might she take to heart from women leaders around the world --where many countries are far ahead of the United States in terms of representation by women in key political positions?


Senator Pilar Cayetano, member of the Philippine Senate and President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians

Blanche Wiesen Cook, bestselling biographer of Eleanor Roosevelt, and Distinguished Professor of History and Women's Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center

Rounaq Jahan, Senior Research Scholar at Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and former Bangladeshi representative to the UN

Ambassador Kirsti Lintonen, Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations

The discussion will be moderated by one of my favorite science writers, World Policy Institute Senior Fellow and New York Times journalist Claudia Dreifus. A limited number of seats are still available, so join us!

A reception with light refreshments will start at 6pm and the panel begins at 6:30:

Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue (37th and 38th Streets)
New York

The cost of this event is $10. The fee will be waived for full-time students and non-profit professionals. For more details and to register, click here or email

More like this

Clinton thanks South Dakota who "had the last word" in this primary season (oops, that would be Montana, but whatever). She honored Barak Obama and his supporters for "all they have accomplished." Clinton noted the great increase in previously uninvolved voters and the unprecedented raising of…
An impromptu collection of sexist commentary or commentary about sexism related to the Democratic Primary race. Unmasking Sexism In Media Coverage Of Hillary Clinton Deeply rooted sexism in the US as seen in the campaign coverage of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "hurts us all," Bradley University…
In January, Hillary Clinton still possessed the benefit of the doubt. Memories of her and Bill snarling at Barack Obama in 2008 had faded, and despite her long and dreadful record, it's always possible to turn over a new leaf. But Clinton's ongoing response to Bernie Sanders shows why she is unfit…
I often always have many unpublished posts in my cue, so I was going to let my response to Katha Pollitt's Nation column about the sexism behind a lot of the Senator Clinton bashing slide by, but then I read Amanda's post about Pollitt's column. Onto what Pollitt wrote (italics mine): The more…

Sounds so cool! If I were in NY I would be interested.

Are there other womens day events?

"I'd be wondering who goosed the Secretary."

Photographers usually have an underpaid assistant to do that.

It sounds like a good discussion to attend. I feel that Hillary might make a big difference as Secretary of State. She has shown a good mix of diplomacy and somewhat blunt honesty so far. Her strengths go beyond her gender.
We need to celebrate women and their increasing roles in leadership positions.
At some point it will cease to be remarkable and just be a fact of life, like having an African-American president.

By Cal Harth (not verified) on 06 Mar 2009 #permalink