Clinton Presents Advancing Women in Peace and Security Awards
February 26, 2014 – Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton presented the university’s annual Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security Tuesday night in historic Gaston Hall.
The awards were given to British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder of the Panzi hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), is also an award recipient this year for his leadership on integrating women, peace and security into NATO operations but was unable to attend.
Clinton credited the three award winners for their dedicated efforts in championing women’s rights globally.
“When women are excluded and marginalized, we all suffer: We miss out on their experience, their knowledge, their skills, their talents,” says Clinton. “But when women and girls have the chance to participate fully alongside men and boys in making peace, in growing the economy, in political life, in every facet of existence, then we all benefit. And the three men we honor today understand this and have put their considerable prestige and efforts behind that.”
The Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards
The Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards were created by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS), led by executive director and Georgetown alumna Melanne Verveer.
Verveer most recently served as the U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, a position to which President Barack Obama nominated her in 2009.
Then-Secretary of State Clinton announced the formation of GIWPS when she unveiled the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown in December 2011. She currently serves as the Honorary Founding Chair of the Institute.
“We are honored to present the Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security, in recognition of the extraordinary leadership of Secretary Clinton and of the contributions of our awardees,” said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia.
Full Empowerment of Women
Hague, a vocal advocate for addressing sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict who made the issue a foreign policy priority of the U.K. government during his tenure, believes the time has come to empower women globally.
“I believe that there is no greater strategic prize for the 21st century than the full social, political and economic empowerment of women everywhere,” says Hague, who launched the Prevention of Sexual Violence Initiative with U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees’ Special Envoy Angelina Jolie in 2012. “This must be the century in which women take their rightful place … into a world of equal treatment and boundless opportunity.”
The British Foreign Secretary also spearheaded the 2013 effort to pass a U.N. Security Council Resolution that focused on the critical need to end impunity against perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict, and the launch of a Declaration of Commitment at the U.N. General Assembly that has been endorsed by 140 countries.
Agents for Peace and Security
Mukwege, who is internationally renowned for providing treatment to survivors of sexual violence in conflict and helping to rehabilitate and reintegrate victimized women, founded the Panzi Hospital in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, a region that has been fraught with violent conflict for years.
He dedicated the award to women who now seek a voice in peace and justice after overcoming violence and strife.
“I accept this award today on behalf of these women, as I strongly believe that those who have endured violence in conflict times have the capacity to act as an agent for peace and security and deserve a place at the negotiation table in peace talks,” says Mukwege.