Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged female activists across the world to pursue leadership roles and create change in their countries yesterday during the opening ceremonies of the first Women in Public Service Institute. The institute, held at Secretary Clinton’s alma mater Wellesley College, is a collaboration between the US Department of State, Wellesley, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, and Smith to provide a two-week intensive course on political leadership for 50 female activists from 21 countries.
During the opening ceremonies, Clinton told the activists, “If you do not participate, others will hijack your revolution. They will very often begin, from the first day, to undermine the hopes and aspirations that you were protesting for.” She continued, “You are among the young people transforming a region and inspiring the world. We are looking to you for your leadership to turn the promise of change into real and lasting progress.” Secretary Clinton also urged the activists “to keep pushing at that glass ceiling.”
According to a Department of State press release, the institute is part of a global project to increase world leadership from 17.5 percent women to 50 percent by 2050. The institute will be held annually, each time at a different founding school. At the Wellesley opening ceremonies, Secretary Clinton was joined by Madeleine Albright, Jane Harman, Ambassador Melanne Verveer, and other women’s rights leaders.
Boston Globe 6/12/12; Associated Press 6/11/12; Department of State Press Release 6/8/12