(CNN) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a Friday speech at the United Nations to tie women’s reproductive rights with the broader goal of human development.
“There is one lesson from the past, in particular, that we cannot afford to ignore: You cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development, without safeguarding women’s reproductive health and rights,” Clinton said near the end of a speech marking International Women's Day. “That is a bedrock truth.”
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Seated next to United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Clinton said while strides have been made on women’s right, gaps still remain for women and girls all over the world.
“This remains the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” Clinton said. “No country in the world, including my own, has achieved full participation.”
Clinton has made language about women’s rights a focal point of many of her speeches and has tried to address women’s rights since her years as first lady.
Last week, at a speech to Georgetown University, Clinton said that issues of women’s peace and security issues were “integral” for dealing with foreign policy issues in Syria, Iran and Libya. And at another United Nations event last month, the former senator said “still too many women face far too much discrimination and violence.”
In many of these speeches – including Friday’s remarks to the United Nations – Clinton referenced the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Clinton, who spearheaded the conference along with then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright, used the trip to forcefully proclaim “human rights are women’s rights.”
Clinton, the former senator from New York. who if she runs for the White House again would instantly be the overwhelming frontrunner for Democrat’s 2016 presidential nomination, announced late last year that she would review the advances in women’s quality since the conference.
On Friday, Clinton said in order to grow the goals set forth in Beijing, groups like the United Nations had to have women’s rights “integrated into every goal" they made.
“When women succeed,” Clinton concluded, “the world succeeds.”