On Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris led the U.S. virtual delegation and gave remarks at the United Nation’s Generation Equality Forum, nearly a generation after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that “women’s rights are human rights” on an international stage.
Harris, the first woman, first Black and first AAPI person to hold the office of vice president, was welcomed by French president Emmanuel Marcon, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and U.N. Secretary General António Guterres and provided opening remarks as the women’s forum began.
“At the G7 Summit, just weeks ago, world leaders pledged to unite against the threat of autocracy. World leaders pledged to unite behind the principles of democracy. And as we move forward, I believe that if we want to strengthen democracy, we must fight for gender equality,” she said.
“When women have access to capital to start a small business, they can participate more fully and our democracy grows stronger. When women have access to reproductive healthcare to stay healthy, they can participate more fully and our democracy grows stronger. When women live free from the fear of violence, they can participate more fully and our democracy grows stronger,” she continued. “Throughout my career, I have worked to protect women from violence and exploitation. I know what happens when women are supported. I know what happens when women are heard. When women are heard, whether that is in the courtroom, in the workplace, in the halls of government, or at the ballot box, democracy is more complete.”
Her full speech can be found here.