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campaign for equal future for women launched at un

ICJW Representative at the UN, Madeleine Brecher, was invited to attend the launch of the Equal Futures Partnership by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the UN in New York on Monday September 24, 2012. 

Security at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel was tight because all the heads of state were in town for the opening session of the UN General Assemby , so getting through the maze of barricades and police in the area was a logistical nightmare. 

The room was packed with many Heads of State, US political leaders, business executives and leaders in the women's civil society movement. Hillary came on stage to orchestrate the arrival of the Heads of State who would be joining her on the dais  but it was actually Valerie Jarrett who opened the program to announce the new initiative. She is a special advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls. She told how, in September of 2011, the President spoke at the GA about a new Declaration on Women's Participation and how he said that next year, in 2012, he would announce the steps to break down economic and political barriers that "stand in the way of women and girls." Ms. Jarrett then introduced Hillary Clinton. 

The Secretary of State briefly discussed the Equal Futures Partnership and then introduced the 12 country leaders, the first partners in this initiative who were sitting next to her on stage. In addition, Michelle Bachelet, UN  USG of UN Women and Jim Kim, President of the World Bank were on the dais. Ms. Clinton acknowledged the hope  that more countries and members of the private sector would join the Partnership in the years to come. Hillary Clinton was acknowledged eloquently in each Head of State's remarks for her unswerving dedication and support to the rights of women and girls globally. 

The goal of the Equal Futures Partnership is to expand women's political and economic participation, which is an ICJW priority. Following the U.S. lead, 12 partner nations have announced steps that they will take to break down barriers to women’s political and economic empowerment. The countries so far committed include: Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, Indonesia, Jordan, the Netherlands, Peru, Senegal and Tunisia.
 
The founding members of the Equal Futures Partnership are committing to new actions including legal, regulatory and policy reforms to advance this goal. Partners are also reaffirming at the highest levels of government their obligations and commitments to promote and protect women’s human rights and fundamental freedoms. Following the launch of this initiative, founding partners will continue consultations with their national stakeholders, including civil society, to translate commitments into action. In April 2013, we will reconvene at the World Bank Spring Meetings to share progress reports and welcome new member countries. 
 
A fact sheet on United States commitments can be found at: www.whitehouse.gov/women