Hilary Clinton at Asia Pacific Economic Forum 2011

Hilary Clinton at Asia Pacific Economic Forum 2011

At the APEC summit in San Francisco Friday, the secretary of State called on member nations to break down economic barriers for women.

Echoing her 1995 address in Beijing in which she famously said “women’s rights are human’s rights,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s declaration at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit’s Women and the Economy Summit in San Francisco on Friday underscored the necessity of women’s powerful presence in the global economy.

Clinton called on policymakers from the APEC nations—including the United States, Russia Japan, and China—to develop concrete tactics that will break down structural and social barriers preventing women’s economic and political participation in these countries and around the world. She heralded women’s progress over the years, but said “evidence of progress is not evidence of success, and the rate of progress in our economies varies widely.”

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,” she said. “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 explained, citing studies on women’s investing and consumer productivity. Data show that women are stronger savers than men, she said. 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.”  see the original article here