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Empowering women across Asia 

17 September 2010 09:22:46 nm

Empowering women across Asia

US State Department co-sponsors summit in New Delhi

ISLAMABAD, September 17, 2010: Fifteen years after the UN Conference on Women that took place in Beijing, a three-day women's empowerment summit, co-sponsored by the US State Department -- ‘Vital Voices Global Partnership and the International Business Community’ -- was held in New Delhi, says a message received here from Washington, DC.

Over 250 women leaders from South, Pacific and East Asia joined with government, business and civil society experts from across the globe to share lessons learned and hone strategies for the future.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed participants via video address. In his keynote remarks, US Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Robert Hormats emphasised the importance of investing in women to achieve sustainable economic growth. US 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.

The summit was an important step toward strengthening women’s leadership capabilities so they can more effectively advance political, social and economic progress." US Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, and Vital Voices Chairman Susan Davis also addressed the summit. Zain Verjee of CNN served as moderator.

The summit’s panel discussions and breakout sessions were 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 US 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.