Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-16-99

Clintons Host "Millennium Evening" on Women's Rights

In a gathering held last night at the White House, President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton held a discussion with women's historians and activists on the topic of women's rights, past and present. Others were invited to participate by calling in questions or submitting thoughts via the Internet.

The discussion was part of a series of "Millenium Evenings" sponsored by the White House to celebrate American culture and ideas. Three distinguished scholars including President Ruth J. Simmons of Smith College, Rutgers labor historian Alice Keller-Harris, and Yale history professor Nancy Cott were invited to speak and to answer questions input by the public.

Hillary Clinton said that women today face a "constant stream of choices" that their mothers and grandmothers never had. She explained that many of women's decisions regarding work and family still "exact consequences down the road," given that child-rearing is still undervalued in our society. Clinton stated that women who take time off from work or reduce their hours to care for children still must face the possibility that they will face discrimination when they try to re-enter the workforce full-time.

Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Cott and others also expressed regret that some women and girls still shy away from calling themselves feminists, despite the fact that believe in women's equality. "That word has taken such a beating," said Clinton.

Another topic that came up during discussion was the size and relevance of the political "gender gap." While several of the scholars noted that men and women do vote differently, they also indicated that the gap has been small and relatively insignificant. President Clinton piped in with his own perspective on the gender gap, saying "I would not be here if it did not exist."

At one point in the discussion, the president was asked a question that was submitted via the Internet. The question asked what Clinton planned to do to help the women of Afghanistan, who are barred from work, education, adequate medical treatment, and mobility under the repressive Taliban regime. The President condemned the Taliban's treatment of women and dismissed claims that the Taliban's actions are based on Islam. "It is simply not acceptable to say that this is nothing more than an expression of religious conviction," he said. President Clinton pointed to Iran, another fundmentalist Islamic state, and declared that Iran's recent municipal elections included "hundreds of women candidates."

President Clinton said that he hoped to do more to call attention to the Taliban's abuses and urged participants to join the Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan.

Media Resources: AP and Feminist Majority - March 16, 1999


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order. Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
 
7/27/2015 "After Tiller" Was Nominated For An Emmy - Documentary film After Tiller was nominated for two Emmy Awards: Best Documentary, and Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story. The Point of View (POV) documentary follows the aftermath of the murder of Dr. . . .
 
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents. Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force. "Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices, said Spillar. . . .