U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday spoke of women and children’s critical role in peacemaking as part of the “Vital Voices: Women in Democracy” conference, held in Northern Ireland.
Clinton urged the audience not to let recent terrorist activities against pacifists to deter them from their quest for peace between Protestants and Catholics, saying “Women will not be deterred.”
Although a peace accord set the grounds for a new Protestant-Catholic coalition government, that government, led by David Trimble, is far from stable. Trimble joined Clinton in praising women for their “courage and committment” to peace and their efforts to “maintain the fabric of civil society through many dark days.”
In addition to speaking at the conference, Clinton met with female members of Northern Ireland’s newly-established assembly and helped mark the opening of a new playground. Creators of the playground hope that the space will serve as a neutral territory in which Protestant and Catholic children can interact and become friends.