Mitchell Reports | February 01, 2013
>>> to advancing the welfare of women and girls around the world is now entrenched at the state department . thursday president obama issued a presidential memo creating a permanent role for the state department 's ambassador at large for global women 's issues. a post hillary clinton created especially when she came to the estate department. joining me now who now searches in that role. the first ambassador for global affairs for women . you have traveled i think more than secretary clinton, if that's possible. essential traveled to some very difficult places. congratulations on what have you achieved. what is the most significant thing do you think that as we look forward for women and girls around the world .
>> i think it's to continue and grow in that understanding that how critical they are to economic growth , to development, and to the kind of world we want to see in every way, in peace, and security, that their participation whether m economies of their countries, in the decision making of their countries is absolutely essential to a more significant, effect ti outcome in all that we do, and that's what we try to do in these last few years in this position and we're so delight that the president issued that presidential memo to continue all of this work. it's to integrate it into everything the state department does.
>> looking back, we were just talking, as you wrapped today, beijing 1995 the first lady goes to beijing . that's where she broke by saying something that went well beyond typical first lady activity. it was very edgy in terms of the way that the chinese hosts greeted it.
>> it was difficult getting to beijing . there was a lot of controversy about whether she should go to that women 's conference, but the world was gathering in that place, and when she finally did make her way there, there weren't too many people who knew what she was going to say, and that was a very big debate. was she just going to throw out a softball? was she going to not upset her host? was she going to really move the ball down the field? just what was she going to do? when she said it's time to end the silence . women 's rights are human rights and human rights are women 's rights, and that meant that women 's rights weren't some subset of human rights , weren't marginal to human rights , weren't some separate category, but human rights , and everything that that entailed for access to education, to economic participation , political participation , to be free from violence, and i think when she came out of that setting, no matter where one stood on the political spectrum , right or left, the unanimous conclusion was that it was probably her most historic moment from that time until when she said it and that she was such an extraordinary voice for the united states and all of the values that we held true. you remember so well the thunderous, positive reaction she got in that hall, and she went through a littany of violations of women 's rights and said that each of those was, indeed, a violation of human rights . it was like the beginning of a movement. it sparked so much. to this day whenever people meet her or me or so many others, they say i'm so and so, and i was in beijing . it's short-hand for i am committed to what this represented and what you did.
>> so now what happens with afghanistan ? there's a withdrawal afoot. it's accelerating. what happens to the women of afghanistan as new voices take over? what happens to women in pakistan ? mulala, the education of girls , the violence against women . how does it continue?
>> well, the united states will keep these issues. we have a strong -- for women 's rights. it's chicagzelled in the constitution in afghanistan that those rights need to be protected in the kind of agreements that go forward. we have been working with women for a long time there. there is no doubt they are worried about the future. we also know, and i think this is really important, andrea, there will be no sustainable peace. that potential for sustainable peace will not be possible if the women are marginalized or silent. they are critical to afghanistan 's future. this isn't just the right thing to do. it is the smart thing to do. it is the effective thing to do. that's the truth in all of the ways in which we operate, whether in terms of places in crisis and conflict, in economic decision making , that we need to bear these issues upper most, and that's what secretary clinton has made a point of doing kibtly for so long, and hopefully this will just grow, as it should, and must for us to be effective in our foreign policy and for the assurance of our own security and our own interests.
>> well, thank you, and thank you for your service. good luck. i know you're going to continue this in an academic context, and this is an issue that is still going to be very much pafsh your life and your work.
>> thanks, andrea.