Dame Quentin Bryce speaks to people at a Rockhampton conference on domestic and family violence.
Dame Quentin Bryce speaks to people at a Rockhampton conference on domestic and family violence. Michelle Gately ROK101116bryce1

Quentin Bryce shares view on Trump and Clinton

ALTHOUGH she couldn't celebrate the election of the first female president, Dame Quentin Bryce yesterday applauded Hillary Clinton for her contribution to women's rights.

Australia's first female Governor General has no doubt the path to the presidency will be somewhat smoother for the next female candidate thanks to Ms Clinton's efforts, describing her as a leader in the slow march towards equality.

"She's been an extraordinary contributor to the advancement of women and I thought it was deeply touching to hear the way she spoke to young girls about hanging in there and valuing yourself and believing in yourself," Dame Quentin said.

" I thought it was a very powerful message.

"The advancement of women is a long, slow, continuous struggle for equality of opportunity and equal status and Hillary Clinton has been a great leader in the movement."

Dame Quentin said she still felt Ms Clinton's 1995 UN Women's Conference speech remained one of the greatest of all time.

In that address, then-First Lady Ms Clinton famously said "human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights once and for all".

Dame Quentin said access to education had been one of the biggest achievement's of the women's movement and was something which made her proud as she walked around Australian university campuses.

She said every woman who achieved something for the first time had some responsibility to serve as a mentor and encourage others to follow.

"Every one of us stands on the shoulders of the women who went before us to break down barriers, and open up pathways for us," Dame Quentin said.

"Each generation, each individual who is out there as an advocate to advance the status of women builds on this proud history of activism."

There is another aspect of Ms Clinton's loss which troubles Dame Quentin.

Speaking about the degrading comments President-elect Donald Trump has made about women, Dame Quentin said his lack of respect was "a very serious issue".

"It's horrible to hear people speak in public life in such a blatantly disrespectful way," she said.

"Let's look for some optimism here and hope that will be a serious challenge that will be addressed in the most powerful way, which is through community, through the grassroots, with a clear message from women right across the country."



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