28 November 2012

Africa: Clinton Leads Global Effort to Support Women in Business

Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed leaders from around the world to Washington for the second International Council on Women's Business Leadership meeting November 27.

In remarks during the meeting in the State Department's Benjamin Franklin Room, the secretary said the group is discussing "new ideas and concrete initiatives that will help more women take a leading role in business, move up the echelons of government and broaden the reach of civil society groups."

The ultimate goal of the council, Clinton said, is to develop a platform for putting forth policy recommendations, programs and activities that empower women and promote gender equality.

"We're looking at leadership and leadership development and working together to make sure that any woman who wishes to do so will have the opportunity to contribute to the economy and society where she lives," the secretary said.

The council, which held its inaugural meeting in January, is scheduled to convene at least once per year. Subcommittees and working groups meet throughout the year to address a host of specific challenges.

The council serves the U.S. government in an advisory capacity on major issues in international business and economic policy, including the effective integration of business interests and women's economic empowerment into foreign policy, the role and limits of international economic institutions from a gender-specific perspective, and the State Department's role in promoting the role of women in a competitive global economy.

Clinton acts as the council's chairwoman. Serving as council vice chairs are Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, and Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo Inc.

Council membership consists of representatives from around the world who are leaders in public and private-sector organizations and have an interest in the role of women in international business, economic policy development and global economic growth.

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