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Gender equality makes democracy stronger, says Kamala Harris

WorldJul 01, 2021 11:36AM ET
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© Reuters. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris makes virtual remarks from the South Court Auditorium at the White House Complex in Washington, U.S., during the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, June 30, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

PARIS (Reuters) - Women deprived of freedom of speech or the freedom to vote should fight for their rights and know that the United States stands beside them, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said on Wednesday.

Harris told the Generation Equality Forum at a summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron that gender equality was paramount to strengthening democracy.

"Use the tools for democracy, whether that is the freedom of speech or the freedom to vote. And if you do not yet have those freedoms, fight for them and know we will fight alongside you," Harris told the summit by video link.

Democracy was in peril in countries around the world, Harris said.

"If we want to strengthen democracy, we must fight for gender equality. Because here is the truth: Democracy is strongest when everyone participates and it is weaker when people are left out," the vice president said.

Two months after entering office, Harris said President Joe Biden's administration would revitalize Washington's partnership with U.N. Women - a U.N. body dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Under former President Donald Trump, the United States led a push at the United Nations against the promotion of women’s sexual and reproductive rights and health because it saw that as code for abortion.

Harris struck a different tone.

"When women have access to reproductive healthcare to stay healthy, they can participate more fully and our democracy grows stronger," she said.

Melinda Gates said the Gates Foundation would direct $2.1 billion in new money to strengthening gender equality. More than half would go to sexual health and reproductive rights, while $100 million would be spent on helping get women into positions of power in government and the workplace.

"Women should not only have a seat at the table, they should be in every single room where policy and decisions are being made," Gates said.

Gender equality makes democracy stronger, says Kamala Harris
 

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Comments (4)
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Jul 05, 2021 1:53PM ET
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LOL, she is literally a monster, but I still laugh at the silly things she says.
Ominous Owl
Ominous Owl Jul 02, 2021 6:34AM ET
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For a country which had black american as their president, the recurring theme is BLM. Women had equal rights since forever. What she means is reservations - Right to equal results. No matter how, if 1000 candidates are examined for 100 seats, 50 must be women whether they pass the test or not. If men don't pass, that's okay for them. Disgusting.
David Bowie
Defcon2 Jul 01, 2021 11:54AM ET
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Count Chocula is an enemy of free speech and condones voter fraud. Do your job and go solve the US border crisis! Democracy is 2 freeloaders and one capitalist voting on how handouts will be funded, no thanks.
John Doe
ForexInsiders Jul 01, 2021 11:54AM ET
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Needless to say, most are ignorant of the fact, that we are a republic and not a democracy. And once we as the American people realize this and what it means will be the sooner we can take our country back from the corrupt politicians
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Jul 01, 2021 11:50AM ET
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Women already have freedom of speech and freedom to vote!
Ominous Owl
Ominous Owl Jul 01, 2021 11:50AM ET
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She means she wants right to equal results not opportunities - its not about competence but reservations.
 
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