First lady, secretary of state issue encouraging message to women
March 8th, 2011
01:14 PM ET
11 years ago

First lady, secretary of state issue encouraging message to women

Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day to stress the importance of female valor around the world and specifically in countries experiencing social unrest.

"Women in Egypt and Tunisia and other nations have just as much right as the men to remake their governments, to make them responsive, accountable, transparent," Clinton said Monday at the State Department. "We will certainly be watching and the world will watch."

Clinton said women deserve to be at the table as countries in Africa and the Middle East rebuild, "making those choices that will affect their lives and the lives of their daughters and their sons no matter what government emerges."

The former first lady presented ten women with the International Women of Courage Award including Roza Otunbayeva, the president of the Kyrgyz Republic, who was the first head of state to receive the honor.

"Their courage, their compassion, their commitment, their quiet moral authority has come from putting the well being of others before their own," Clinton said. "Each and every one of these women is remarkable."

First lady Michelle Obama was on-hand for the annual event, thanking the group of prominent women for accepting risks, without which change would not be possible.

"Time and again these women have discovered a very simple truth, that courage can actually be contagious," Obama said.

She said the awards send a message to women that "you are never alone in your struggle."

"America will continue to walk with you, people everywhere who care about freedom and justice and equality will walk with you," Obama said.

Clinton also used the occasion to announce a new partnership with investment bank Goldman Sachs to provide business and management training to 100 women over the next two years.

Clinton said Indonesia and Haiti will be the first recipients of the funds that will supplement the Goldman Sachs 10,000 women program.

"We are launching a new partnership designed to help business women in developing countries make the most of their talents," Clinton said.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Michelle Obama
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    Two First Ladies – side by side – Something to be proud of for their work!!!

    March 8, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Based on the political climate that has taken over our country and that has been nurtured, fanned, and encouraged by Right-wing extremists, corporate barons/ interests speaking through the mouths of governors and Tea Party members, I believe that Michelle Obama has shown unusual valor and courage in just being our First Lady.
    Hats off to her and Hilary for doing an outstanding job against all odds and opposition.

    March 8, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Check out the resumes of the 10 women Presidents around the World and you will find Hillary Clinton as well as Michelle Obama resumes are just as powerful. The 10 women Presidents around the World are doctors, scientist, lawyers, professors and have previously served in cabinet positions before they rose to power. These women studied and worked in their fields to get to where they are and their spouses are just as powerful, nobody just gave it to them.

    March 8, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. sara

    Classy and proud that these two women are a big part of our country.

    March 8, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    so what will Tubby the big mouthed pill-popper have to say negatively about this I wonder? He'll come up with some stupid excuse for a criticism

    March 8, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Howard

    The corrupt elite giving each other awards again. This theft of 105 BILLION DOLLARS, in the corrupt Obmacare bill, by Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and Sebelius is a travesty. In addition to getting the money back to the American people, these filthy thieves, and traitors, should be sent to prison for a long, long time !!! This is the biggest story out there, and you can't even find it on CNN !!!

    March 8, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. New Age Independant

    Naturally, the women who do not support the liberal agenda will not be praised. Liberals care nothing to advance women's rights. They only care if you support their agenda. If you are a woman that doesn't you will be trashed constantly regardless of the truth.

    March 8, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel


    You have to get their attention off of the kids, first. Most women don't think about anything else.

    March 8, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. DIANA

    These are the women who should be front and center for our daughters, not those crazies that the media loves to exploit. I pray that my daughter will see these two women, (among others like them) as role models and not get the idea that all she needs to do is act like an idiot and she'll get money and fame.

    March 8, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    Mrs Obama and Mrs. Clinton saying positive things together. I bet Sarah Palin at this very moment is trying to find a way to tear it down and be critical of it.

    March 8, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |

    These are the two classiest women and very well educated and articulate. Laura Bush , Candoleeza fall in the same catergory. Then we have Bachmann, Palin, and the other Wackos from the Tea Party. Pay attention TEA BAGGERS, this is CLASS AT IT'S BEST.

    March 8, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. informed voter

    Secretary Clinton and Mrs. Obama are two strong, smart, hard working women. These are the role models for our daughters. Bravo to both of these women for their contribution to our nation and the world!

    March 8, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. Darth Vadik, CA

    Speaking of women in power, you know who I haven't heard of much lately, and I bet that it is eating her alive from the inside...'s that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, or whatever her name is, with all the attention her two crazy sisters (Palin and Bachman) are getting, you know that she must be boiling on the inside for being stuck in a backwards state like South Carolina...

    March 8, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    It's good to see two intelligent, educated and accomplished women helping those who need help. None of the phony photo opportunities or spewing hate instead of trying to find real solutions to the problems women face around the world.
    What a difference from all those other right wing losers!

    March 8, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |