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A Tribute to Two Remarkable Leaders

7 February 2013 No Comment

Hillary Clinton

Kimberly Weichel
Peace X Peace CEO

“I have been inspired by the leadership, commitment, dedication, and passion of these two accomplished women, and I appreciate all  they have done to open doors for women everywhere.”

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Peace X Peace pays tribute to the remarkable legacies of  former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer, who both stepped down last week. It’s an opportunity to take stock not only of their many accomplishments during these past four years, but also of the lasting impact of their exceptional leadership.

Secretary Clinton made a huge contribution to improving the lives of women and girls around the world, elevating women as a powerful force for a more stable world. In her tenure as the 67th Secretary of State, she was a tireless advocate for women’s  rights and opportunities for women. She introduced the unprecedented US National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, the US strategy to prevent and respond to gender-based violence globally, as well as reforms to promote gender equality, end child marriage, empower adolescent girls, and include women in every aspect of peacebuilding and conflict resolution. Peace X Peace has been an active civil society partner in supporting these and other initiatives.

As Ambassador Swanee Hunt explains, “In newborn democracies, especially post-Arab Spring, Clinton admonished men rushing in to fill power vacuums not to push aside women from constitutional commissions, parliamentary lists, and ministerial posts. And even as Afghanistan’s fragile political system hangs in the balance, her continued insistence that women be part of major international gatherings to determine the country’s future set a precedent that their ideas should be featured in all deliberations.”

Melanne Verveer

But Secretary Clinton’s genius was systemic policy-level change beyond her persona or personal priorities. “This is not just a woman’s issue… it truly does cut to the heart of our national security and the security of people everywhere,” she declared in 2011, having inspired President Obama’s executive order affirming essential roles for women in ending war, and calling for an ongoing national action plan reaching across the government. At the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development, she integrated measurable accounting of actions to advance women in stopping conflict. She also created an ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues position, reporting directly to her. And seeding the future even more, she a launched the Women in Public Service Institute, collecting scores of top young women leaders annually to learn from the American experience and each other.

In 2009 Clinton appointed former chief of staff Melanne Verveer as the new Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, a position that President Obama made permanent last week. Melanne, who has also been a tireless advocate for women and girls worldwide, will now become Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. Melanne has shown remarkable leadership in foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic, and social advancement of women around the world. She mobilized concrete support for women’s rights and political and economic empowerment through initiatives and programs designed to increase women’s and girls’ access to education and health care, to combat violence against women and girls in all its forms, and to ensure that women’s rights are fully integrated with human rights in the development of U.S. foreign policy. She was a champion of the US National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security, and worked closely with Clinton to pursue many of the reforms cited above.

I have been inspired by the leadership, commitment, dedication, and passion of these two accomplished women, and I appreciate all they have done to open doors for women everywhere.

We salute you!

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