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Women and citizenship

Addressing the Fifth Meeting of Spanish and African Women for a Better World, High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay described a situation for many women in which they are cast as “second-class citizens”. “Women and girls have often fallen into this category, as both in law and in practice, they have been – and in many parts of the world still are – prevented from fully enjoying the entitlements of citizenship,” she said.

Delegates to the Fifth Meeting of Spanish and African Women for a Better World met in Valencia, Spain - ©The Meeting in Valencia, Spain, heard from a number of other, prominent, global, women leaders including the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, and a message via video from U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

Pillay said she was speaking in her capacity as High Commissioner for Human Rights, but also as, “an African woman and a committed, long-time advocate for the empowerment of women… as someone who is convinced that open discussions among countries and cultures make us all stronger.”

29 March 2010