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The Hillary Doctrine: Women's Rights Are a National Security Issue

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy
April 8, 2013
Atlantic Monthly


"These guys just don't get it," a senior State Department official told me more than a year ago, referring to the White House's inner circle's reluctant embrace of the idea that women are central to American security.

If they still don't, it isn't for lack of hearing the idea loud and clear.

On Friday former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech both personal and fiery to argue once again that women are central to American security. Call it the "Hillary Doctrine Unplugged": Freed from the diplomatic propriety of State Department officialdom and White House-shepherded protocols, Clinton spoke plainly to a crowd that loved her message nearly as much as it loves the idea of a second Clinton presidential candidacy. The thesis: extremism and the suppression of women go hand in hand. Ignore the latter and you are ignorant about the former.

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