Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 30, 2011

Hello and welcome to this colloquium dedicated to empowering women as agents of change. I want to thank the Prime Minister for hosting this important forum. As Trinidad and Tobago’s first female prime minister, she is a role model for women not only in her own country, but throughout the region.

In the United States this month we are celebrating the unique contributions by Americans of Caribbean descent. Caribbean-American women have added in ways large and small to the story of America. We have seen them act as agents of change in our own country.

Throughout the Caribbean, we must ensure women are able to realize their potential. They must be allowed to contribute in every capacity – as political leaders, entrepreneurs, social activists, and more. When women prosper, it doesn’t just benefit them, it lifts up their families, their communities and their countries.

As you come together to share experiences and challenges and chart a course for achieving greater gender equality in the region, know that the United States stands with you. Because no society can prosper if half its citizens are left behind.

I can’t wait to hear about your ideas and suggestions to empower more women in the Caribbean community.