Hillary Clinton, Wellesley aiming to empower foreign women

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright at Wellesley College yesterday to open the first Women in Public Service Institute.

A group of young women from countries that have a history of repressing females got a pep talk yesterday from a former first lady who is now one of America’s top leaders.

“All over the world women still face obstacles to cultural and legal participation,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the women. “The world cannot miss out on the talents and contributions of half the population.”

Clinton spoke during the start of a two-week pilot program taking place at Wellesley College. The first Women in Public Service Institute is helping 50 women, mostly from Middle Eastern countries, network and learn new tools needed to continue being leaders in their country, organizers said.

Those tools are imperative,  institute organizers said, because women continue to be underrepresented. Clinton said that about 17 percent of those elected to Congress are women, which is lower than the 20 percent global average of women in parliamentary seats.

Madeleine Albright, a former secretary of state who, like Clinton, is a Wellesley alumna, is participating in the training sessions.

“When women participate in public service it strengthens democracy,” Albright said.

But both Clinton and Albright acknowledged that, despite the Arab Spring revolutions, it would be difficult for the women attending the institute to easily incorporate what they learn into the workings of their country’s government.

“There is no one model or path. Ultimately our … delegates will know best what to see and how to move forward in their own cities,” Albright said.

Naheed Ahmadi Farid, 27, the youngest member of the Afghanistan parliament, said she was satisfied with Clinton’s support of her country. However, she added that she is not completely confident that what she learns at the institute will make a difference in her country when foreign troops leave in a few years.

Farid said her country is plagued by corruption and rigged elections and that many of the institute’s participants live in countries where there is much violence against women.

The delegates

1. Jackcilia Salathiel Ebere Ginanan was appointed the state minister of labor, public service and human resource development of South Sudan in 2010. Last year she helped form the Women’s New Horizon community organization. Before that, when she was 18, she had to flee to Congo when fighting in her country reached close to her home. She was able to continue her education Uganda.

2. Hala Fahmi Jamal is a businesswoman involved in numerous community service associations in Bahrain. She serves as the chairwoman of On Island Tours, an American women’s association. Several organizations and leaders, including the minister of development, have recognized her work.

3. Naheed Ahmadi Farid is, at 27, the youngest member of Afghanistan’s parliament. She is seeking to form a new party that brings more unity and more female elected officials to the nation. Growing up under Taliban rule, she said the government burned her school during an attack on her city.


Protesters say new Met Opera is anti-Semitic

Protesters, including a former mayor and governor, gathered outside of the Metropolitan Opera on Monday afternoon to protest the opening of “The Death of Klinghoffer.”


Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…


New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…


NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…


We the Economy: Morgan Spurlock's new crusade

If Morgan Spurlock gets his way, you won't be able to avoid We the Economy, the series of 20 shorts films curated by the "Super…


3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.


Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.


#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…


John Idzik: 'We did a ton of background'…

Given John Idzik spent the previous five years with the Seahawks before he joined the Jets last January, there is a comfort level for the organization.


Jets add sizzle to struggling passing game with…

The Jets’ trade for Percy Harvin may have an air of desperation on the surface, but at 1-6 this season is hanging only by a thread.


Jason Pierre-Paul: 'We've got to regroup' during bye…

“We’ve got to regroup and figure out what went wrong,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. “When we come back, we want to be a great team.”


Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.


Is a 'gap year' after high school for…

It’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are…


New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.


Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.


Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…