Chelsea Clinton: Men have to join the push for global gender equality

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by Nina Easton,

from Fortune Magazine,

The famous first-daughter talked with Fortune about women’s unrealized role in the world economy, and how to change it.

On her 35th birthday in late February, Chelsea Clinton spoke to Fortune about the debut report of the Clinton Foundation’s No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project initiative. Here are excerpts:

That the United States is one of only nine countries that doesn’t have paid leave time for mothers of infants. I completely own that, being a mother of a still-small person and recently the mother of a newborn infant. We are one of nine countries that does not make a moral and economic case for why it’s important to make it a policy priority that mothers have that crucial time to bond with their infant children.

Greater participation in the workforce by women is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. That’s true in developed world. That’s a conversation my mom had with [Japan’s] Prime Minister Abe in September. The reason the Prime Minister is so focused on more women in the workforce is that he’s not impervious to all the studies done by the IMF and others saying if women participated at the same rates as men, the Japanese economy not only wouldn’t need to fear stagnation, but it would pretty quickly return to robust year-over-year GDP growth.

When I think about what full participation for girls and women means, it’s that women are able to make what we see as the right choices for us and our families. Right now, there are too many places in the world where women very much feel like they can only have one identity—a predominant identity as a wife or mother, or a predominant identity as a worker or a professional. Our hope is that in the next 20 years, more women will be able to lead lives that feel right for ourselves as women and as members of our families and our communities.

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