Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential

[영어로 읽는 세기의 名연설] <25> 힐러리 클린턴의 베이징 연설 (下)
As an American,I want to speak up for women in my own country - women who are raising children on the minimum wage,women who can't afford health care or child care,women whose lives are threatened by violence,including violence in their own homes.

I want to speak up for mothers who are fighting for good schools,safe neighborhoods,clean air and clean airwaves: for older women,some of them widows,who have raised their families and now find that their skills and life experiences are not valued in the workplace: for women who are working all night as nurses,hotel clerks,and fast food cooks so that they can be at home during the day with their kids: and for women everywhere who simply don't have time to do everything they are called upon to do each day.

Speaking to you today,I speak for them,just as each of us speaks for women around the world who are denied the chance to go to school,or see a doctor,or own property,or have a say about the direction of their lives,simply because they are women.

The truth is that most women around the world work both inside and outside the home,usually by necessity.

We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives.

That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family.

Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.

We also must recognize that women will never gain full dignity until their human rights are respected and protected.

Our goals for this Conference,to strengthen families and societies by empowering women to take greater control over their own destinies,cannot be fully achieved unless all governments - here and around the world - accept their responsibility to protect and promote internationally recognized human rights.

The international community has long acknowledged - and recently affirmed at Vienna - that both women and men are entitled to a range of protections and personal freedoms,from the right of personal security to the right to determine freely the number and spacing of the children they bear.

No one should be forced to remain silent for fear of religious or political persecution,arrest,abuse or torture.

Tragically,women are most often the ones whose human rights are violated.

Even in the late 20th century,the rape of women continues to be used as an instrument of armed conflict.

Women and children make up a large majority of the world's refugees.

When women are excluded from the political process,they become even more vulnerable to abuse.

I believe that,on the eve of a new millennium,it is time to break our silence.

It is time for us to say here in Beijing,and the world to hear,that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women's rights as separate from human rights.

These abuses have continued because,for too long,the history of women has been a history of silence.

Even today,there are those who are trying to silence our words.

The voices of this conference and of the women at Huairou must be heard loud and clear; It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food,or drowned,or suffocated,or their spines broken,simply because they are born girls.

It is a violation of human rights when women and girls are sold into the slavery of ①prostitution.

It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline,set on fire and burned to death because their marriage ②dowries are deemed too small.

It is a violation of human rights when individual women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war.

It is a violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide among women ages 14 to 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes.

It is a violation of human rights when young girls are brutalized by the painful and degrading practice of genital mutilation.

It is a violation of human rights when women are denied the right to plan their own families,and that includes being forced to have abortions or being sterilized against their will.

If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference,it is that human rights are women's rights - and women's rights are human rights.

Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely - and the right to be heard.

Women must enjoy the right to participate fully in the social and political lives of their countries if we want freedom and democracy to thrive and endure.

It is indefensible that many women in nongovernmental organizations who wished to participate in this conference have not been able to attend - or have been prohibited from fully taking part.

Let me be clear.

Freedom means the right of people to assemble,organize,and debate openly.

It means respecting the views of those who may disagree with the views of their governments.

It means not taking citizens away from their loved ones and jailing them,mistreating them,or denying them their freedom or dignity because of the peaceful expression of their ideas and opinions.

In my country,we recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of women's suffrage.

It took 150 years after the signing of our Declaration of Independence for women to win the right to vote.

It took 72 years of organized struggle on the part of many courageous women and men.

It was one of America's most divisive philosophical wars.

But it was also a bloodless war.

Suffrage was achieved without a shot being fired.

We have also been reminded,in V-1 Day observances last weekend,of the good that comes when men and women join together to combat the forces of tyranny and build a better world.

We have seen peace prevail in most places for a half century.

We have avoided another world war.

But we have not solved older,deeply-rooted problems that continue to diminish the potential of half the world's population.

Now it is time to act on behalf of women everywhere.

If we take bold steps to better the lives of women,we will be taking bold steps to better the lives of children and families too.

Families rely on mothers and wives for emotional support and care: families rely on women for labor in the home: and increasingly,families rely on women for income needed to raise healthy children and care for other relatives.

As long as discrimination and ③inequities remain so commonplace around the world - as long as girls and women are valued less,fed less,fed last,overworked,underpaid,not schooled and subjected to violence in and out of their homes - the potential of the human family to create a peaceful,prosperous world will not be realized.

Let this Conference be our - and the world's - call to action.

And let us heed the call so that we can create a world in which every woman is treated with respect and dignity,every boy and girl is loved and cared for equally,and every family has the hope of a strong and stable future.

Thank you very much.

God's blessings on you,your work and all who will benefit from it.

Words & Idioms

① prostitution : 창녀

② dowries : 지참금

③ inequities : 불공평