Amal Clooney Speaks about Today’s Defining Moment in Women’s Rights

Editor-in-chief of Glamour Samantha Barry with international human rights attorney Amal Clooney at the 2018 Pennsylvania Conference for Women

Amal Clooney, who has been called the “consummate feminist superhero,” usually speaks about human rights issues that women face in other countries. But at the 2018 Pennsylvania Conference for Women, the international human rights lawyer spoke at length about issues women are facing in America.

“In the United States, a woman is assaulted every nine seconds,” Clooney said. “For too long, predators have felt safe, and women have felt unsafe.” But, “we are living through a moment of reckoning and a rebalancing of power,” Clooney added. “Survivors deserve justice…. Women deserve to be believed and deserve to be respected.”

“#MeToo should not only mean that women can come forward and talk,” she said, “but that people in power will listen.”

Clooney, who is married to the actor George Clooney, also spoke about her client, Nadia Murad, a Yazidi victim of Isis, who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize. Clooney is taking ISIS to court on Murad’s account.

“Rape as a weapon of war is not new, but accountability for it is a more modern phenomenon,” Clooney said. She said this became possible as the result of a female judge who insisted on adding rape as a weapon to the charges against a Rwandan leader in a 1990 genocide trial. “Accountability only happened because women made it a priority,” Clooney said.

Wrapping up her talk, Clooney observed: “No country can achieve its economic, political or social potential until women are assured of equal rights….There is still much for us to do.”

Still, she added, she is optimistic. “Nadia Murad is the girl who refused to be silent,” she said, “In doing that, she’s an example to us all.”

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