Remarks at U.S.-Hosted Meeting of the Equal Futures Partnership

Catherine M. Russell
Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues 
The Palace Hotel
New York, NY
September 22, 2016

As prepared

It’s been five years since President Obama challenged all of us to break down barriers to women’s political and economic empowerment. Since then, the Equal Futures Partnership, which launched with 13 original members, has grown to more than 30 and counting. The Partnership is now led by a new chair—the government of Croatia. And most importantly, members of the Partnership have worked together to fulfill their commitments, so that someday not too far in the future, women will have the same political and economic opportunities as men.

The key here is that we work together. Creating equal futures—the equal opportunity to work, to lead, and to achieve—takes everyone—governments, the private sector, civil society, and citizens around the world—coming together to make change. That’s why we’re here today. Because we know that through the leadership of the countries represented here, and in partnership with each other, equal futures for women and men are truly possible.

It’s now my pleasure to introduce someone a leader in the effort to achieve equality. Throughout his entire career, he has tackled some of the most stubborn barriers to women’s full participation. From his days as a prosecutor, to his time in the U.S. Senate, to his leadership at the State Department, he has strengthened the foundation for gender equality. We are tremendously grateful every day for his leadership and support, and delighted that he’s able to join us here today. Please welcome Secretary of State John Kerry.