"I come to you in peace." Those were the opening words spoken by Mrs. Rula Ghani, the First Lady of Afghanistan, as she joined Mrs. Laura Bush for a meeting of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council Wednesday, February 11, at the Bush Institute.
Thousands of miles away in countries across the globe, millions of girls do not have the luxury to ignore their chores like I do. Instead, their families rely on these girls to spend hours of their days collecting water from faraway or unreliable sources.
As we commemorate International Human Rights Day today, I can't help but recall the moment 17 years ago when then-First Lady Hillary Clinton proclaimed, "Women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights."
Victims of the various forms of sexual and gender-based violence -- including rape, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, and domestic abuse -- are frequently prevented by societal constraints from seeking safety or justice.
Let's shift the discourse away from 'women vs. women', which sounds like a tawdry Las Vegas boxing match, and move it towards a much deeper conversation about what we need to do to get more women in leadership positions in both the public and private sector and eradicate poverty.
By stating in no uncertain terms that women deserve equal treatment because of their inalienable, integral and indivisible rights, Clinton will solidify her record as one of the most influential advocates for gender equality the world has ever seen.