Column: United States overtaken as leader in women's progress


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When I covered the 1995 U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing, I had no idea what heady days those would seem in retrospect.

That was the convention where then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton made her speech forever branding women’s rights as equal to human rights and vice versa.

Then, the United States was a world leader on the issue of women’s rights. But that was 18 years ago, and this is now.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union’s website reveals the United States has fallen to 82nd on the list of countries with the highest representation of women in national legislatures.

We are behind most of Europe, China, even Kyrgyzstan. It’s an absolute embarrassment. Many countries have now elected at least one woman to the office of president or prime minister. Great Britain, Germany, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Liberia are among them, and the list goes on and on. Of course, the United States has yet to elect a female president.

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