Clinton in Ahmedabad: Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who is currently in India, emphasised the risk of climate change and said it has affected women workers in informal sectors inadequately. Clinton, a former diplomat who served as the 67th United States secretary of state under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013, is currently in India on her two-day visit to the country.
While attending an event organised by Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a central trade union, in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad, she underscored that the women workers are the worst affected group as they are mainly engaged in informal sectors which have direct exposure to the heatwaves. However, she asserted that a global ‘Climate Resilience Fund’ will help tackle this challenge.
Clinton pays homage to renowned social activist Ela Bhatt
“You’ve overcome so many obstacles, broken through so many barriers. But now you face an additional challenge–the challenge that climate change presents–of heat,” Clinton said at the event to mark 50 years of SEWA as a trade union and to pay homage to its founder and renowned social activist Ela Bhatt.
“Whether you’re in construction, or you are in waste recycling, or you are in plastic, or you are a street vendor, or you are a farmer, whatever you are, your challenge to make an income to support yourselves and work throughout the days of overwhelming heat will be the next big problem that SEWA will help you try to resolve,” she said.
Clinton hails women workers for supporting their family
Speaking on the ‘Global Climate Resilience Fund’, Clinton said Clinton Global Initiative, Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, Algorand Foundation, Council for Inclusive Capitalism, and the American India Foundation will be working with SEWA.
“These will be some of the partners with SEWA to begin to address this very significant challenge. We are going to be working over the next months and years with SEWA and all of these committed organisations and others who will join because this is not a problem just for SEWA,” she said.
“Your stories are stories of courage, determination and inspiration. You have created new opportunities for yourselves, for your families, for your communities,” Clinton said, adding it was probably the reason why SEWA’s membership more than quadrupled to 2.5 million since she was here in 1995.
“I hope you know there are women around the world who follow your examples, who themselves are self-employed, seeking a better life for themselves and their children. You have come so very far, and I am so incredibly honoured to have made some of the journeys with you,” Clinton said.
(With inputs from agencies)
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