Hillary Rodham Clinton closed out the 2018 MAKERS Conference calling on women to draw on their own power to make positive and permanent change happen.
"There has never been more at stake than there is right now—for women and for our country," the former Secretary of State told more than 500 attendees gathered at NeueHouse Hollywood. But "there are so many ways to raise your voice and make a difference. You can raise your voice at work, in your community, or in the voting booth."
Clinton spoke out about how she will add her voice to the chorus of women pushing the movement forward in 2018.
"I pledge to continue to speak out alongside all of you. I pledge to never to give up on the great unfinished business of the 21st century, advancing the rights and opportunities of women and girls. I pledge to stay on the front lines of our democracy, today and always."
Read her full remarks below:
Hello, MAKERS! I wish I could be there with you in person. From what I hear, this year's conference was one for the history books.
There's a line from the poet Muriel Rukeyser that's been on my mind recently. She wrote: "What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open."
That's exactly what we're witnessing right now, in this extraordinary moment. From Hollywood to politics to factory floors, women are telling the truth about their lives. And the world will never be the same.
In 1995 in Beijing, as the film says, we shattered the silence. More than two decades later, this gathering of remarkable women is continuing the conversation, shining a light on issues that have been swept under the rug for years. Here at MAKERS, you've learned from experts who are examining and taking on the institutions and deep cultural biases that have held women back for too long. You've heard the stories of women who have banded together across industries, in solidarity, to take on issues like sexual assault and harassment. And you've met real life heroes who are breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes.
Each and every one of you has a job to do, to ensure that what happened at MAKERS doesn't stay at MAKERS. Let's harness the passion and momentum of this unprecedented moment to create meaningful, lasting change. Let's be brave enough to engage with people who disagree with us, to question and examine our own beliefs, and to acknowledge that even those of us who have spent much of our life thinking about gender issues, and who have firsthand experiences of navigating a male-dominated industry, may not always get it right.
Most of all, let's think beyond corporate boardrooms, beyond the corridors of companies and Congress, beyond our own lives, to lift up women of all incomes, ages, experiences, and backgrounds – immigrant women, LGBTQ women, women with disabilities, women of color who are too often marginalized. The work many of you are already doing is an important step in that direction, and so are the diverse voices represented at this conference. Now, let's keep going.
I love this year's theme, "Raise Your Voice." There are so many ways to raise your voice and make a difference. You can raise your voice at work, in your community, or in the voting booth. I hope in particular that everyone will do their part in the midterm elections this fall. And I dearly hope many of you will raise your voice as candidates for office, too. Because I believe the only way to get sexism out of politics is to get more women into politics.
There has never been more at stake than there is right now – for women and for our country. We are living through an all-out assault on core values of democracy, free speech, and the rule of law; and a war on truth, facts, and reason. I know at times it can seem overwhelming. But everyone in this room has the power to do something about it – by insisting on truth and accuracy from elected leaders and the press, and holding them accountable when they fail to meet that standard. By refusing to be silent in the face of racism, sexism, bigotry, or rhetoric intended to incite hate and violence. And by continuing to tell the truth about our lives, and the experiences of women everywhere.
So before I sign off, I'd like to add my voice to the chorus: I pledge to continue to speak out alongside all of you. I pledge to never to give up on the great unfinished business of the 21st century, advancing the rights and opportunities of women and girls. I pledge to stay on the front lines of our democracy, today and always.
Thank you for being part of this gathering of historyMAKERS, troubleMAKERS, and changeMAKERS. And thank you for continuing to speak out and lead once you leave here today.