Women’s Rights are Human Rights are Clinton’s Rights

However you voted in the 2016 US Presidential Election, you gotta hand it to Hillary Rodham Clinton for being the first woman to make such a huge play for the office on behalf of a major political party… and very nearly succeed.

Even though she didn’t win (which some of us may maintain was due to a ridiculous technicality), she still broke some serious glass ceilings and old molds for women and girls the whole nation (and the world) over.

Hillary Clinton-glass ceiling quoteAnd this isn’t new for Clinton either. She’s been a pioneer and fighter for women’s rights her entire career.

After graduating from Yale Law School, Clinton became an advocate for kids and families at the Children’s Defense Fund.

As First Lady of Arkansas, she helped start Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.

As First Lady of the United States, Clinton led the U.S. delegation to the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing 20 years ago in September 1995, where she famously proclaimed that “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”

She also advocated for the Family and Medical Leave Act, worked to increase funding for childcare, and helped start the National Campaign to End Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

As the Senator from New York, Clinton championed access to emergency contraception and voted in favor of strengthening a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. She also championed the Paycheck Fairness Act and co-sponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. She fought for legislation to guarantee paid sick leave and paid parental leave for all federal employees.

And most recently, as Secretary of State, Clinton took the fight even further to make women’s rights a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy.

Believe what you want about her politics or her qualifications to be President of the United States. But there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind about her merit as a true Tough Cookie.

As Clinton’s office states loud and clear on their website, “She has been fighting for women and girls her entire career, and she’s just getting started.”

We’re very excited to see what she does next!

We Should All Be Feminists

On April 12, 2013, acclaimed writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a TEDx talk entitled “We Should All Be Feminists.” Then in July this year, she came out with a book of the same title, to further drive home her message.Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists

And what was her point?

That we should all be questions what “feminism” really means today. That the 21st-century definition may not be what we think it is, but rather one more rooted in the concepts of inclusion and awareness. That based on this more modern re-definition, we should all of us (everyone) be feminists.

Chimamanda’s powerful personal essay really highlights the subtle and all-too-common behaviors that marginalize women around the world, and the often masked realities of sexual politics — all to paint the picture that any kind of gender divide is unhealthy and harmful to everyone.

And boy is she an incredible writer. If you’ve loved anything else Chimamanda has written, you will love this book. Or if you prefer something visual, watch the video of her TEDx talk below.

Then watch our new Tough Cookie teaser video to learn more about what Tough Cookie means, and why that message is so important today.

Japan Just Got Their First Woman US Ambassador

Caroline Kennedy as US Japan AmbassadorCaroline Kennedy sure is some woman!

Just days before the 50th anniversary of her father President John F. Kennedy’s assassination (which happened Nov 22, 1963), Ms. Kennedy took a huge step forward in her own diplomatic career – and a huge leap forward for women everywhere. She arrived at Tokyo’s Imperial Palace in a maroon horse-drawn carriage and was welcomed by Emperor Akihito as the first woman to ever serve as US Ambassador to Japan.

And this is Japan we’re talking about – the country that has made a career out of marginalizing women, and where (in 2010) females only occupied 6.2% of top management positions in private Japanese firms, and (in 2011) only 0.8% of town and village mayorships.

But then again we’re also talking about a mother of three who first aided in President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign before receiving this post. When first given the appointment in September, Ms. Kennedy remarked:

“I am conscious of my responsibility to uphold the ideals he represented – a deep commitment to public service, a more just America and a more peaceful world.”

Well, if anyone can do it, she can!

Breaking down gender barriers in such a patriarchal country and all throughout the world makes Ms. Caroline Kennedy one bad-ass lady, and a real bonafide Tough Cookie!