U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today said active investment and engagement of women drives economic growth.
In her opening remarks at APEC High-Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy, Ms. Clinton said in the past, when the members of APEC met at the ministerial level, the role that women play in world’s economies was often not discussed at all, or if so, only as a minor agenda item.
“But today, we are focused directly on this critical issue, both because of all the ways that women are already driving economic growth, but because of the possibility that we can do even more by removing the barriers that hold women back and by replacing them with active investment and engagement.” -Ms. Clinton
She stressed that the declaration that they will adopt at the end of the session will set the framework in place and help them move in the right direction.
“The four areas it identifies go directly to the concerns held by many women in our economies: first, access to capital; second, access to markets; third, opportunities to learn valuable skills; and fourth, to lead in the workplace.” -Ms. Clinton
She noted that upon the adoption of the declaration, they will deliver it to the APEC Leaders Meeting in Honolulu this November and work to begin implementing the policies and programs that can turn this declaration into lasting progress.
“The declaration is just one step toward unleashing the full economic potential of women, but it is an important step. And as I said earlier, I think because of the economic success of the APEC region, many other parts of the world will look to this declaration and be inspired by it and move to replicate it in their own regions as well.” -Ms. Clinton