Free Essay

A Stand for Womens Rights

In: English and Literature

Submitted By nferguson
Words 896
Pages 4
Nicole Ferguson
Professor Delli Santi
English 112
22 February 2015
“A Stand for Women’s Rights Around the Globe”
Women’s rights are no longer a major topic within the United States, but many countries still refuse to acknowledge the rights of women. On September 5, 1995, Hillary Clinton addressed the distinguished delegates and guests of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women with a heartfelt speech requesting the silence of women in many countries to be heard. The words and tone of Clinton’s speech reached out to the audience to take a stand against the violation of women’s rights.
Hillary Clinton is known by many as a true women’s activist. The quest for women’s rights came long before Clinton’s political career. Clinton had dreamed of becoming an astronaut in her early years, but those dreams were crushed after gaining the knowledge that women were not accepted into the NASA program (Hillary). Clinton obtained her degree from Yale Law School in 1969, and immediately pursued a career in politics. Hillary assisted Bill Clinton in managing his campaign for a congressional seat in 1974, and they later married in 1975 (Hillary). Clinton was awarded numerous awards, including Young Mother of the Year and Woman of the Year, during her husband’s time as governor in Arkansas. These awards and the role she played in her husbands’ career had left Clinton with a high reputation in Arkansas. She was known as “one of the state’s most powerful political figures and a well-known national leader” (Hillary).
Hillary Clinton’s purpose was clearly spoken for all attending the conference in which she spoke on the rights of women.
By gathering in Beijing, we are focusing world attention on issues that matter most in our lives -- the lives of women and their families: access to education, health care, jobs and credit, the chance to enjoy basic legal and human rights and to participate fully in the political life of our countries. (Clinton)
Clinton is assertive in delivering the message that “women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights” (Clinton). Clinton addresses her speech to the distinguished delegates and guests of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women; additional attendance was available via broadcast. Clinton’s speech was primarily directed to the government officials and the activist groups that were able to attend the conference in Beijing. Clinton addressed specific rights violations occurring in undisclosed countries, which directed her words towards those specific countries delegates. Clinton took aim at Beijing officials by stating, “It is indefensible that many women in nongovernmental organizations who wished to participate in this conference have not been able to attend or have been prohibited from fully taking part” (Schmetzer). Chinese citizens were unable to view or hear the speech of the first lady, due to the conference being blacked out on radio and televisions (Tyler) Clinton’s speech was also omitted from the brief excerpts reported by the state-ran news agency, New China News Agency (Schmetzer). Clinton includes current human rights violations in her speech to ensure her audience understands the nationwide problem which continues to occur in many countries. She is hoping to use the audiences’ emotions to gain support on the battle to obtain rights for all women, nationwide. “It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls,” Mrs. Clinton said, or “when women and girls are sold into slavery or prostitution for human greed” (Tyler). This statement was directed toward China due to their policy of one child per family. Clinton spoke out against acts of burning of new brides in India because their marriage dowries are too small and rapes of women in Bosnia as a tactic or price of war (Schmetzer). Clinton told the delegates of 180 countries that, “If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all” (Tyler). Clinton’s speech was well written and her purpose was clearly defined within her speech. She used her audiences’ pathos to her advantage just as I would if discussing the rights of women. Clinton continuously used the phrase “human rights” to replace women’s rights to emphasize the reason for her speaking at the conference. I believe the message was reached by the audience, since actions are being taken to improve the rights of women by the Vatican. “The Vatican is backing issues such as the protection of women from violence, more financial loans for enterprises headed by woman, and a more proportional representation in government” (Schmetzer). There is no difference in the rights of men, women, or children. All rights are human rights.

Works Cited

Clinton, Hillary Rodham. “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”. U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women. Beijing. 5 September 1995. American Rhetoric. Transcript. Web. 10 February 2015. “Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton.” First Ladies of the United States. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. (2001). Credo Reference. Web. 10 February 2015.
Schemetzer, Uli. “First Lady Rebukes China in Speech; Hillary Clinton Targets Human Rights Violations; Still no Chinese Response.” Austin American Statesman. 6 September 1995. ProQuest. Web. 10 February 2015.
Tyler, Patrick E. “Hillary Clinton, in China, Details Abuse on Women.” New York Times 6 September 1995. ProQuest. Web. 10 February 2015.

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