From Burma to her speech on gay rights, Secretary Clinton has used the power of her office to make human rights a priority both here and around the globe. As a global leader, Secretary Clinton’s actions remind me how important it is to have leaders who are willing to take on tough issues and advocate for everyone’s rights to full participation.
There are other trailblazers for human rights and democracy that we celebrate tomorrow,December 10. Tomorrow isboth International Human Rights Day, celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the ceremony awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to three women, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee; and Tawakkul Karman, a Yemeni opposition leader. These three women have all been trailblazers for non-violent social activism and for the inclusion of women in peace building. As the Nobel Committee acknowledged in its announcement, we cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society.
Lets mark this important day by celebrating how far we have come on the issues of human and womens rights, and also redouble our efforts to ensure that everyone has the ability to participate in decisions that affect their family, community and country.