[Continuing remarks about change women have brought about since the 1995 Beijing conference on women.] Yes, we’ve increased the number of countries prohibiting domestic violence, but still more than half the nations in the world have no such laws on the books, and an estimated one in three women still experience violence. Yes, we’ve cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe child birth.
All the laws we pass don’t count for much if they are not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed. (Applause.)
As I have said, and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their society is the great unfinished business of the 21st century.(1)
But wait! She does speak of "reproductive health care," which others have noted is her code word for abortion. So, maybe the evidence is on the side of abortion after all, and not on female mutilation.