For years women have been fighting for equal rights in everything they do. Women have always gotten stereotyped because men believe that they are superior to women. On September 4th –15th, 1995 the Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing. There were 189 government representatives there, including representatives from the United States. The conference…“it raised consciousness in international agencies about the importance of a "gender perspective," and it gave feminists all over the world ammunition for the battles they had yet to fight at home,” according to Joe Freeman. September 5, 1995, Clinton was a featured speaker at the conference. Her speech was entitled, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”. Throughout the speech, Clinton firmly stated the issues that mattered the most in women’s lives and she passionately expressed her stance as it pertained to the violation of women and human rights in order to allow everyone’s eyes to open up to the issues.
She opened distinguishedly by, acknowledging and thanking all the people who dedicated their work to women rights, and those who invited her to the conference. Then Clinton appreciatively mentions how the conference, “is truly a celebration, of the contributions women make in every aspect of life: in the home, on the job, in the community, as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, learners, workers, citizens, and leaders.” Next, she aggressively addresses the thoughts and complaints of having the conference for women. “Let them listen to the voices of women in their homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces. There are some who wonder whether the lives of women and girls matter to economic and political progress around the globe. Let them look at the women gathered here and at Huairou -- the homemakers and nurses, the teachers and lawyers, the policymakers and women who run their own businesses.” In listening Clintons tone, one gets the point that she is making about the conference is of great necessity.
Toward the end of the speech, Clinton passionately expresses her feelings on the violation of women and their human rights. As she is speaking about the violations of the women rights, she articulates every word and puts an emphasis on certain words in order to get her point across. For example Clinton emphasis, “It is a violation of human rights when young girls are brutalized by the painful and degrading practice of genital mutilation.” In this statement, she pronounces and articulates the words: It is a violation of human rights, young girls, brutalized, painful, degrading practice, and genital mutilation. She wanted everyone to hear and understand clearly what she was saying. In figure one you can clearly see that women at this conference fully agreed to all that was being said.
Fig.1. This is a Moroccan activist at the Fourth World Conference on Women. Sept. 1995. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Oct. 2010.
Throughout the speech Clinton uses the word “freedom”, but she never fully explains herself until the end when she was going back clarifying and reviewing what she had mentioned in the speech. Clinton says, “Let me be clear. Freedom means the right of people to assemble, organize, and debate openly.” In her conclusion, instead of reviewing everything over again, she tells what will happen if we allow certain things to continue in our world, due to not allowing women the equal rights they deserve.
This event had a great impact on people everywhere. It opened up many eyes and allowed people to see that women are important and women could do things if you just give them a chance to. I felt very affected by this speech because who knew that women had all those struggles to go through in order to be successful to other people. It makes me feel that I should help the fight for equal rights for women all over the world.
Clinton, Hillary Rodham. "'Womens Rights are Human Rights.'" The Fourth World Conference on Women. Beijing, China. 5 Sept. 1995. American Rhetioric. Web. 5 Oct. 2010.
Freeman, Joe. "Beijing '95." jofreeman.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Oct. 2010.