PARTICIPATION AGE

Clinton: Women Can Rescue the Economy

Echoing her 1995 address in Beijing in which she famously said “women’s rights are human rights,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s declaration at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) Women and the Economy Summit in San Francisco on Friday underscored the necessity of women’s powerful presence in the global economy. She heralded women’s progress over the years, but said there's plenty of room for improvement. In the agriculture industry, for example, women farmers have less access to resources and training than men. “When resources are allocated equally and efficiently, women and men are equally productive in agriculture,” Clinton said, adding, “Unlocking the potential of women by narrowing the gender gap could lead to a 14 percent rise in per capita incomes by the year 2020 in several APEC economies including Russia and Korea.” Clinton cited studies on women’s investing and consumer productivity. Clinton’s declaration concluded that the beginning of the 21st century marks the Participation Age when “we don’t have a person to waste… and we certainly don’t have a gender to waste” if we want to make full potential of the world’s economic opportunities. “In pursuing the promise of the Participation Age, let us remember that by harnessing the economic potential of all women, we boost opportunity for all people.”