Secretary of State Kerry Needs to Keep Women’s Issues in the Global Spotlight

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During her four years as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton was a global advocate for women’s rights and championed the security, health, and empowerment of women and girls throughout her record-breaking number of trips and meetings with world leaders and communities around the world. Her leadership and well-known personal interest in these issues dismantled silos and integrated women’s and girls’ issues across programs and offices at the State Department. But the promotion of international women’s issues as a key component of U.S. diplomatic and development efforts cannot begin and end with Secretary Clinton’s personal interest and hard work.

Newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry can ensure that the initiatives and funding for women’s and girls’ issues championed by former Secretary Clinton continue over the next four years. Kerry’s record as a senator and his past statements on international women’s issues are promising, and the institutional framework established by former Secretary Clinton is sturdy. Moving forward, Secretary Kerry will have the opportunity to further integrate international women’s issues into effective diplomatic and development strategies that recognize the direct importance of women’s empowerment to global economic progress and stability.

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