Monday, August 17, 2009

About Hillary's Warm Welcome from the Women of Africa

It's funny that we didn't hear much about the many warm welcomes that Hillary Rodham Clinton received in Africa, especially from women. I also would have liked to see more photos, especially of the women lining the streets to welcome her. Below are some snippets describing her welcome on some of her many stops, as well as some feminist quotations from our decidedly feminist Secretary of State.

Ms Clinton arrived in Monrovia to pouring rain but still found one of the most rousing welcomes of her trip with young people from a peace movement dancing and beating drums on the tarmac. As the motorcade headed past ramshackle homes into the capital, dozens of schoolchildren held up signs welcoming Ms Clinton and declaring their pride in Barack Obama, the first African-American US president.

"Hillary Clinton - The women of Liberia salute you!" read one banner held by a group of several hundred women. Ms Clinton has made women's rights a key theme on her 11-day tour, which included a lightning visit to the war-ravaged eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to comfort survivors of an upsurge in rape.

In an interview in Nigeria, Clinton -- who narrowly lost her own bid last year to be the first female US leader -- said that no country could reach a full stage of development without full participation by women.

"If African women decided to stop working tomorrow, the whole continent would shut down. People wouldn't eat. Crops wouldn't be planted and harvested," Clinton told popular Nigerian television talk show host Mo Abudu.

Hundreds and thousands of Liberians lined up the streets of Monrovia to welcome US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The jubilant crowd defied the rains to be on the street.

In Liberia, groups of
women trailed her every move, carrying a banner that said: "Hillary Clinton. Our Iron Lady."

"If you educate a man, you educate a man. If you educate a woman, you educate a family," she told a Nigerian interviewer. [photos]