Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that women and children are the “primary victims of conflict and climate change” and that the war in Ukraine “shows us that.”
“Women and children are the primary victims of conflict and of climate change and there is no place that unfortunately, tragically, shows us that more dramatically than Ukraine today,” Clinton told the crowd at the Forbes 30/50 Summit in Abu Dhabi.
Clinton, sitting alongside MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski, First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, former Tennis star Billie Jean King and Gloria Steinem, added that “there are a lot of other conflicts, a lot of other challenges that we have to take into account.”
The former Democratic nominee for president noted “gender apartheid in Afghanistan” and the “persecution and oppression of girls and women, exercising their freedom of choice in Iran and so many other places.”
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During her opening remarks, Clinton said that women have been “dramatically set back” by the COVID-19 pandemic and by “organized pushback to the advancement of women.”
“So I think the bottom line is we have a lot of work to do. And we can’t take any of the progress that has been made for granted, because as you said, Mika, with the Dobbs decision and other kinds of organized institutional pushback, we’re seeing a lot of what we did take for granted in terms of rights and opportunities at risk,” Clinton said.
Towards the end of the conversation, Clinton encouraged women to accept the fact that they have to be better “prepared” than anybody and to “practice communicating.”
She also told the crowd to “look for allies” and “just know that every time you stand up for yourself, you stand up for literally tens of thousands, maybe millions of people who don’t have the voice, or the access, the opportunity that you do.”
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“That’s what Olena is doing, traveling around the world,” Clinton added in reference to the Ukrainian first lady. “She is standing up on behalf of her country and the people who are the most vulnerable and marginalized, you don’t have to be in the middle of a horrible war that is breaking every law there is and committing crimes against humanity to stand up and speak out and know that you’re doing it not just for yourself. Somehow that might make it easier.”
Clinton sat down with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Saturday at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting at Vanderbilt University.
Buttigieg praised Clinton for putting cracks in the glass ceiling after she asked him about being considered a “trailblazer” as the “first openly gay cabinet member,” and “the youngest person to ever hold the office of Secretary of Transportation.”
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“Yeah, I mean, again, I’m humbled to have a word like ‘trailblazer’ used when I’m sitting next to you and knowing all the cracks you put in that glass ceiling,” Buttigieg responded.
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