- The Washington Times - Monday, March 9, 2015

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that while progress has been made in the advancement of women and girls over the past 20 years, significant steps remain in boosting female participation in areas such as education.

“When women and girls have the opportunity to participate, we can lift up not just ourselves but our families, communities — even our countries,” Mrs. Clinton said at an event in New York City hosted in part by the Clinton Foundation. “So this isn’t just a story about women and girls — it is a universal story about the kind of world we want for our children and grandchildren.”

The event came about a week after news broke that Mrs. Clinton had exclusively used a private email address during her tenure as the country’s top diplomat, which has prompted calls from Republicans and some Democrats for a more detailed explanation from her on the matter. But Mrs. Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, did not directly address that issue, instead sticking to themes involving women’s rights that were the focus of the event.

The event coincided with the release of the “No Ceilings Full Participation Report” and the 59th session of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women, and comes 20 years after Mrs. Clinton spoke at the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.

At that conference, Mrs. Clinton said, the international community pledged to work toward “full participation of women and girls in all aspects of life.”

“Today, two decades later, it’s clear: we’re not there yet. We still have a lot of work to do and we’re excited for you to dig into this data yourself, to use it, to share it, to learn from it, to get motivated by it,” she said.

“This data is a benchmark of our project, but also a road map for the work ahead,” she said.

The report highlights various data points related to women, girls, and gender equity; for example, it says that girls and boys now enroll in primary school at nearly equal rates around the world, but poor, rural, and minority girls are still less likely to be educated.

In addition helping kick off the event with her daughter, Chelsea, and Melinda Gates, Mrs. Clinton helped moderate discussions dealing with education, climate change, and peace and security.

Mrs. Clinton was scheduled to be a keynote speaker at an event Tuesday put on by Women’s Empowerment Principles where she is to touch on similar themes laid out at the Monday event.

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