Hillary on Women’s issues and microcredit

Last week the New York Times published a 35 minute interview of the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, before she left for a 11-day visit to Africa.Mrs Clinton is a well known international advocate of women’s right, but she is also one of the earliest supporter of microcredit. She started to work for microcredit in 1983 and attended the first Microcredit Summit Campaign’s Global Summit in Washington in 1997 where we set our goals for 2015.

“I am struck by every international public-opinion poll I’ve ever seen, that the No. 1 thing most men and women want is a good job with a good income. It is at the core of the human aspiration to be able to support oneself, to give one’s children a better future.

Microenterprise is uniquely designed to empower women because — through the trial and error of its development, going back to Muhammad Yunus’s invention of it in Bangladesh — women are much greater at investing in future goods than the men who have participated in microcredit have turned out to be. And they are also very reliable in paying back, because they are so eager to have that extra help and recognition that microcredit provides.

I don’t make a distinction between economic empowerment and political, social empowerment; I think it’s fair to say both need to go hand in hand.” She told Mark Landler, the diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times, in this interview.

Read full interview