The world must match its words with its wallet and its will when it comes to women not just because it is the right thing to do, but because the ailing global economy depends on it. That is the message Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to deliver Friday to delegates from the globe's most powerful economies gathered in San Francisco for the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit's Women and the Economy Summit.
“To achieve the economic expansion we all seek we need to unlock a vital source of growth that can power our economies in the decades to come,” Clinton will tell a ballroom filled with women – and some men – gathered in the same city where the original United Nations Charter was signed in 1945. “By increasing women's participation in the economy and enhancing their efficiency and productivity, we can have a dramatic impact on the competitiveness and growth of our economies.”
Striking themes reminiscent of her 1995 address in Beijing to the Fourth World Conference on Women in which she famously stated that “women's rights are human rights,” Clinton will urge policymakers to back up their rhetoric about the importance of women with concrete steps aimed at tackling barriers to economic and political participation they face across APEC economies. Together the APEC nations, which include the United States, Russia, Japan and China, account for more than half of global GDP and 40 percent of the world's population.