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Secretary Clinton’s speech this past Friday at the APEC summit (worth reading/listening in its glorious entirety at that link) calls us to action as individuals to create gender parity in the workforce and global marketplace:
As information transcends borders and creates opportunities for farmers to bank on mobile phones and children in distant villages to learn remotely, I believe that here, at the beginning of the 21st century, we are entering the participation age, where every individual, regardless of gender or other characteristics, is poised to be a contributing and valued member of the global marketplace. …
Now, my husband often says, in making the argument that everyone should be involved, that we don’t have a person to waste. I think that’s true. When it comes to the enormous challenge of our time, to systematically and relentlessly pursue more economic opportunity in all of our lands, we don’t have a person to waste, and we certainly don’t have a gender to waste either. …
So if we are serious about this undertaking, if we really want to achieve parity for women in the workforce, both that they participate and how they participate, then we must remove structural and social impediments that stack the deck against them.
It’s our time to respond to this call – today, not tomorrow or next week, but right now. Hollaback! is about more than just naming street harassment for what it is. Hollaback! is about taking back our right as women and LGBTQ to participate in the public sphere, to leave our homes and go to work (or have a social life) without fear of male-perpetrated violence based strictly on our gender identities. Until the constant threat of verbal assault is removed from every time women and LGBTQ decide which routes they are safe to walk outside their homes, parity in the global marketplace will not be possible.
The anti-street harassment movement is a necessary first step to the actuation of Secretary Clinton’s goal of total inclusion of women in the workforce and economic systems. Join us in removing one layer of social impediments to women and LGBTQ’s parity in the public sphere – spread the word about street harassment and why it’s unacceptable, disenfranchising behavior. And, of course, Hollaback next time you are harassed or see someone harassed.
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