Hillary Clinton on the Importance of Women at the Peace Table: ‘Negotiations Are Less Likely to Fail’
Women and girls must be a cornerstone of American global leadership, Hillary Clinton said during her speech at Georgetown University — and that’s especially important when it comes to peacemaking.
As Clinton was speaking to the importance of women’s involvement in international politics, she cited research that said “peace negotiations [and] agreements are less likely to fail and more likely to last.” This was prefaced with a not-subtle dig at President Donald Trump.
“Here I go again, talking about research, evidence, and facts,” Clinton said as the audience laughed and applauded.
Data from United Nations Women supports Clinton’s point: A global study from 2015 found that women’s participation increases the probability of a peace agreement lasting at least two years by 20%. Researchers analyzed 40 peace processes that have taken place since the Cold War, and there was a much higher chance of reaching a peace agreement when women were able to have a strong influence over negotiations.
Women have also historically brought coalitions to the peace table, Clinton said, in order to build a consensus. That, she countered, was not to say women were inherently more peaceful than me — that stereotype “belongs in the alternative reality.” Pause for applause.
Since Trump won the election, there’s been an upswing of women getting involved with politics on both a local and international level. As Fortune previously reported, the average share of women in parliament rose 6.5 points between 2015 and 2016 worldwide, going from 22.6% to 23.3%.
While the percentage of women in parliament has nearly doubled in the 20 years, it only translates to 22% of women in parliament today, according to the UN. The Trump administration’s response to this has been underwhelming, with a report showing only four of his cabinet members are women.
Outside of leadership roles, Trump has proposed cuts for global funding and treating, the New York Times reports. Clinton took note of this during her speech, suggesting that these cuts “would be a blow to women and children and a grave mistake for our country.”
“So we have to ask, will we be left behind or will we continue to lead the way?” Clinton asked toward the end of her speech. “I hope the answer is that we will do whatever it takes to make our country and the world stronger and more secure.”
Read a full transcript of Clinton’s speech here.