Tuesday 24 January 2017

Momentum swings in favour of female candidates

Niamh Gallagher

Published 24/02/2016 | 02:30

Niamh Gallagher: 'We should recognise the unique opportunity this election presents and seize it by giving serious and thoughtful consideration to the women on our ballot paper next week.' Photo: Tom Burke
Niamh Gallagher: 'We should recognise the unique opportunity this election presents and seize it by giving serious and thoughtful consideration to the women on our ballot paper next week.' Photo: Tom Burke

In 2006, the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) in the US held a luncheon with the theme 'Celebrating Inspiration'. At the event, they named their all-decade team to mark the organisation's 10th anniversary and draw attention to its most influential players over the previous 10 years. The keynote speaker on the day was Madeleine Albright, former US Ambassador to the United Nations and, later, Secretary of State under the Clinton administration. In her remarks, she said "there's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women". The quote was picked up, grabbed onto, and has since become a staple go-to for women advocating for women's rights and empowerment around the world.

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Last week, when introducing Hillary Clinton to a rally in New Hampshire, Albright dusted off her old notes and used the quote again, this time with reference to Clinton's campaign.

The suggestion was - though not stated explicitly - that there is a special place in hell for women who don't vote for Clinton. Unsurprisingly, this went down badly, not least among women.

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