Posts tagged ‘Maria Otero’

Under Sec. Otero on Human Rights in the Obama Administration

In a recent speech at American University, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero emphasized the importance of gender equality in the Obama Administration’s human rights policy:

“Our support of civil society in its pursuit of human rights also means elevating our commitment to marginalized and disenfranchised groups, including women, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

“For example, despite bearing the brunt of society’s political and economic challenges, women across the Americas’ continue to drive democratic change and social equality. I have met with women leaders in Brazil who are fighting the scourge of human trafficking. Women in Honduras are raising their voices in the name of freedom of speech, and protecting the place of human rights defenders in society. In Colombia, women are defending the rights of the 3 million internally displaced people. And in Cuba, the Damas de Blanco were recently honored for its work fighting for fundamental freedoms. Yet, despite these heroic examples, women remain marginalized by outdated legislation and lackluster law enforcement. Even as we gather here today, women in the Middle East are struggling to make their voices heard in nascent democratic transitions. As countries seek to establish more stable, respected governments, the role of women will be tantamount to their success.”

Read the full speech:

May 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment

6k Walk for Water

Date: 04/27/2011 Location: Washington, DC Description: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Otero lifts a 55 pound, 6 gallon jerry can of water. Women in the developing world usually carry two of these on their 6K walk for water! © State Dept Image/Inna PletukhinaYesterday, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero kicked off the first State Department “Walk for Water.”

“Why six kilometers? Because this is the typical distance that a woman in the developing world walks every day to collect water. Many walk further.

“While nearly a billion people worldwide live without access to clean water, the crisis disproportionately affects women and girls. … The effects of this crisis reach far beyond the physical hardship of collecting water. It keeps girls out of school and women from other, more productive economic activities.”

Read Under Sec. Otero’s blog post about the Walk:

April 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment

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