during VarietyAt Lifetime’s Power of Women dinner, hosted Wednesday, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton spoke, with the former secretary of state criticizing the Iranian government.
“I couldn’t stand here tonight without also recognizing the brave women in Iran who stand up for their rights, their freedom against a horrible regime that stays in power largely because it oppresses women,” Clinton said. “And I couldn’t stay here without thinking about the women in Afghanistan who are deprived of education, or the women on the front lines in Ukraine who are trying to defend their country against the barbarity of Putin’s invasion.”
“So we have a lot of work to do,” he continued. “It’s work in our own country to keep up our progress and not let the clock go back, and it also cares about the rest of the world.”
The Clintons are in the midst of promoting “Gutsy,” the Apple TV+ series adapted from their 2019 “Book of Gutsy Women.” In the show, which features the mother-daughter pair and they produced in their new sparkle HiddenLight, luminaries from rap star Megan Thee Stallion to labor activist Dolores Huerta share their wisdom.
The series melds the cerebral energy of the former secretary of state and health advocate with a dose of foreign policy star power. In an interview with Variety For the issue of The Power of Women, Clinton said, “When we interviewed well-known women, like Kim Kardashian, we didn’t want to focus just on their incredible success in business and everything else that goes along with it, but on their efforts to helping people caught up in the criminal justice system. That’s what was meaningful to us.”
She expanded on that idea on Wednesday night, saying, “We feature a lot of different types of women who have done all kinds of things. Some by their own choice, some because they were challenged, but each of them had to dig deep to find the resilience and determination to find her own bravery, and not just about themselves, but to try to right the injustice. Trying to solve other people’s problems too. Because we are in this moment of accountability, not only in our country, but throughout the world, on human rights and women’s rights. It is vitally important that we tell these stories.”
Chelsea spoke directly about the experience of raising children in America in the era of Roe v. Wade’s investment.
“I am filled with throbbing rage when I look at my daughter and realize that she might have fewer rights than I did when I grew up in this country,” she said. “And I look at my kids and I realize they could too, because while we’ve talked a lot about abortion tonight, it’s also about the right to contraception. It is the right to same-sex marriage. It is the right to privacy. Truly, everything that has allowed us all to lead our lives is under threat. And while that is acutely and urgently true for women, it is not exclusively true for women.
“This is an existential moment. We certainly need all of us to be brave, because I don’t want to go any further back. I think a lot about the warning of the great Coretta Scott King and others who reminded us that progress must be defended and protected in every generation. Sometimes you have to win too back.”
Closing her speech, she added: “We certainly hope you will accept the call to tell more stories of choice, privacy, marriage equality and equal rights because we need you to help defend them, protect them, win them. back. Because I know I’m not the only parent here. And I know I’m not the only one who’s angry. And I also know I’m not the only optimist.”
Secretary Clinton also commented on the idea of optimism: “It’s a choice to be optimistic. I have to end with one of the best responses I have ever heard from anyone, from my wonderful late friend and predecessor as Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. When she was asked if she was optimistic, she paused and said: ‘Yes. I am an optimist who worries a lot. So let’s be optimistic. But let’s also make sure we put our concern into action to push back the dark forces that want to push us back. Let’s be brave together.”
The Clintons, along with Elizabeth Olsen, Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay, and Malala Yousafzai, are honored at this year’s Power of Women event in Los Angeles.