Washington, DC,,

Fifteen years after the UN Conference on Women that took place in Beijing, a three day women’s empowerment summit, co-sponsored by the State Department, Vital Voices Global Partnership and the international business community, opened September 15 in New Delhi. Over 250 women leaders from South, Pacific and East Asia have joined with government, business and civil society experts from across the globe to share lessons learned and hone strategies for the future.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed participants via video address. In his keynote remarks, U.S. Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Robert Hormats emphasized the importance of investing in women to achieve sustainable economic growth. U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer noted during her speech: “All around the world, women are blazing new trails and triumphing over long-entrenched obstacles to women’s progress in order to create a better world. Despite a solid record of advances, our work is by no means done.

Today’s Summit is an important step toward strengthening women’s leadership capabilities so they can more effectively advance political, social and economic progress.” U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, and Vital Voices Chairman Susan Davis also addressed the Summit. Zain Verjee of CNN is serving as moderator.

The Summit’s panel discussions and breakout sessions are focused on three key areas: Women as an Economic Force, Women in Political Leadership and Public Life, and Safeguarding Women’s Human Rights. Following this Summit, the State Department will work with Vital Voices and other private partners in furtherance of achieving women’s empowerment though high-level policy dialogues, development assistance projects, and public diplomacy.




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