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Ambassador Harper: Remarks at the Power of Empowered Women Event
June 12, 2014

People in a meeting
Ambassador Harper at the Power of Empowered Women Side Event / HRC 26

The Power of Empowered Women 2014
Human Rights Council Side Event
Thursday, June 12, 2014; 1:00 pm

Remarks by Ambassador Keith Harper
U.S. Representative to the Human Rights Council

First let me start by  congratulating this panel. I can see the energy in this room and it is inspiring on such a critical issue. And I really wanted to be with you here today.

The United States recognizes that women can neither be truly self-sufficient nor fully contribute to their country’s economy unless they can sustain themselves economically.

To that end, we assist women entrepreneurs and women involved in development efforts, including rural women, through numerous programs.  For example, the United States supports the work of female artisans through the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, a partnership with the Aspen Institute.  The Alliance is a platform that enables companies, non-profits, governments, and international organizations to collaborate and grow artisan enterprises; provide best practice services to the organizations that support them; and support the broader recognition of the importance of the artisan sector to development, economic growth, and preservation of cultural heritage.

Recent UN sessions and processes have championed women’s economic empowerment.  The United States supports UN Women’s work in empowering women economically, which is one of the  organization’s key priorities.  The main outcome document from the 2014 Commission on the Status of Women session, the Agreed Conclusion on “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls,” talks about advancing women’s economic empowerment.  And the Equal Futures Partnership initiative has economic empowerment, along with political empowerment, as key components.

We thank today’s speakers for sharing their unique experiences.  Their successes in overcoming obstacles offer inspiration to women and girls throughout the world.

We look forward to further engagement and support your efforts to improve the status of women economically.  I would like to close by saying this work to us is vital, it is essential, I loo forward to working with you in partnership to further our objectives. When you empower women, politically, economically and socially, you empower nations.  Thank you.