A celebration of International Women’s Day took place in Liberia this weekend, with a number of the world’s key women leaders present. Among many others, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet were present, according to Radio Netherlands.
Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean told the crowd that “I’m telling you: give women the means to react and you will see less violence, you will see the end of sickness and illiteracy because women never forget that life is the most precious thing….Exclude women and you will fail,” according to Agence France Presse.
According to the Agence France Presse, Swedish vice-president of the European Commission Margot Wallstrom said “Still today in governments and parliaments, less than a quarter of members are women….There is no lack of female candidates. The reality is men tend to choose men…One half of the population is seriously under-represented.”
In a statement on the occasion from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she said “Put simply, we have much less hope of addressing the complex challenges we face in this new century without the full participation of women….A growing body of research tells us that supporting women is a high-yield investment, resulting in stronger economies, more vibrant civil societies, healthier communities, and greater peace and stability. But even so, no nation in the world has yet achieved full equality for women.”