Thank Secretary Clinton for Protecting Women's Rights

A nation's economic health is directly impacted by the health, education and workforce opportunities of its women. Yet the current economic crisis is overshadowing critical discussions about women's rights, putting women and girls worldwide at greater risk.

Fortunately, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to champion women's rights on an international stage, and has drawn much-needed attention and funding for family planning and reproductive health issues – both critical to women's long-term success and welfare.

Under Secretary Clinton's leadership, a new day is dawning for the world's women and girls. The Administration has requested a considerable increase over last year's assistance for family planning and reproductive health programs, overturned the Global Gag rule, and established the first Office for Women and Girls and an Office of Global Women's Issues in the White House and State Department.

Send a letter thanking Secretary Clinton for her dedication to women's rights and empowerment – and for her work in improving women's lives around the world.

Dear Madam Secretary,

Thank you for beginning your role as Secretary of State by shining a spotlight on the integral role women play in today's global issues. Like you, we believe that women's rights and empowerment are key ingredients of smart power, and should be integrated into the Administration's renewed emphasis on diplomacy and development.

[Your personal comments will be added here.]

To realize women's rights, access to the full range of reproductive health services, including family planning, is particularly crucial. Enabling women to earn an income keeps their daughters in school and food on the family table. Your actions now to protect women's rights in developing countries set the stage not only for economic recovery, but also for economic growth -- a robust investment in troubled times.

Under your leadership, a new day is dawning for the world's women and girls. The Administration has requested $603 million in assistance for family planning and reproductive health programs, which is a considerable increase over last year. The Global Gag rule that prohibited federal funding for non-governmental organizations providing or counseling women on abortion has been overturned, and for the first time ever, an Office for Women and Girls and an Office of Global Women's Issues has been established in the White House and U.S. State Department respectively.

While issues of sexual and reproductive health tend to get overshadowed in discussions of the current economic crisis, the economic health of a nation is directly impacted by the health, education and workforce opportunities of its women.

We echo your call during the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 that women's rights are human rights, and look forward to your continued leadership in prioritizing women's rights and empowerment and reproductive rights in U.S. foreign policy.
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