Women Target More Political and Financial Clout

By Kristin von Kreisler, Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, August 8, 1997 | Go to article overview

Women Target More Political and Financial Clout


Kristin von Kreisler, Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Full democracy requires the full participation of women," says Swanee Hunt, United States ambassador to Austria. "When women are integrated into the democratic process, everyone benefits."

To encourage women's integration in the newly emerging Eastern European democracies, Ambassador Hunt organized a conference in Vienna, July 9-11, called "Vital Voices: Women in Democracy."

Three hundred professional women - 150 from Eastern Europe and 150 from Western Europe and the US - participated in discussions, workshops, and plenary sessions. The conference culminated in a final session that featured speeches by US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The conference was divided into three tracks: politics, law, and business. Each track started with a workshop of approximately 100 women, then broke down into smaller groups that wrote 54 strategies for solving specific problems, such as how to get more women elected to parliament, how to write laws against sexual harassment, and how to encourage foreign investment in women's businesses. …

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