Hillary Clinton on Nigeria, Benghazi and 2016 in Robin Roberts Interview

The former Secretary of state sat down with Robin Roberts and the Ford Foundation's Philanthropy New York.
40:13 | 05/07/14

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Transcript for Hillary Clinton on Nigeria, Benghazi and 2016 in Robin Roberts Interview
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- How hard I am terrific agent and she. And it is always say it's just a privilege to spend time with you -- I have over the years and especially. In front of a group like this so passionate about philanthropy and that it's what we are going to spin. The vast majority of time talking about which are also very gracious and allowing us -- House a couple of. Hot topics in the -- -- one I saw you tweeting about yes both school girls -- in Nigeria you've been and the president has said that. There's going to be US aide Sharon than the US and other countries for that matter do more to -- that they are returned safely to their families have. Salute -- Robin and you know for me this is a perfect storm. All the issues that are of concerning. Matters to those of us who follow women and girls. Around the world and in particular what's happening in. North Africa. The seizure of these young women. By this. The radical. Extremist group spoke of a rom is abominable it's criminal. It's an act of terrorism. And it. Really merits. The fullest response possible first and foremost from the government of Nigeria. The government of Nigeria has then in my view. -- what -- -- in its responsibility. Toward protecting. Boys and girls men and women in northern Nigeria over the last year's. They need to make it a priority. To do everything they can to. Try to bring these girls home safely and that. I believe requires assistance from others including the United States we have offered President Obama made that offer -- know. Secretary Kerry conveyed it directly to president good luck Jonathan so has the EU so has the UK. It is primarily a Nigerian government responsibility. But we know very well that it is in a part of the country that has been increasingly. Out of the government's control. This is not the first assault on a school that -- -- is responsible for. I when I was secretary had numerous conversations with the president other members of his cabinet and security forces. That this required a much greater effort by the government in a bush and it also required. More of an outreach on development and assistance. In the region but focusing right now on the crisis of trying to find these young women and return them -- You know another group was kidnapped. Yesterday out of another village. Means that the Nigerian government must accept help particularly intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance help. Their troops have to be the ones who do what is necessary. But they can do a better job if they accept the offers that are being made and the world is watching we want our girls act it's horrible it's horrible and you know the it is a -- Terrible example. Of what we're seeing on fortunately more of the use of of women. And girls particularly. As victims of war of slaves for these militia groups as they Rampage from -- for south to the Central African Republic. Eastern Congo and other places in between. And a failure of local law enforcement. Local. Community support and then that entire national government in this is a problem. Not just in Nigeria but -- in Nigeria's more resources and more capacity to do more and they should be expected to and we'll talk a little bit more about the globe. More impact and -- women and getting educated and -- education that the one more news question been -- the new investigation are you. Satisfied with the answers and Ari are you content with what. You know. What happens. Absolutely I mean of course there. Are a lot of reasons why despite all of the hearings all of the information that's been provided. Some choose not to be satisfied and choose to continue to move forward. That says their choice and I do not believe there is. Any reason forward to continuing this way but they get to call the shots in the congress. And you get the call the shots right now I'm talking about the land for yes and that's exactly. I. And that's -- new initiatives no ceilings the full participation project which started back in 1995 in the world conference and women. And you made a statement there that still resonates when you said human rights are women's rights and women's rights. Our human rights are you encouraged by the progress that you've seen since that time. Well first let let me -- York philanthropy and Ford for hosting this I love the idea that you're spending a day looking at where we are with women and girls. And as Robin said in 1995. At the fourth world. Conference I was privileged to go to that UN sponsored gathering. On behalf of the united -- and United States and to give that speech but what's often lost is that. Beyond the word from the rhetoric in the calls to action there was a platform that a 189. Countries signed on to. To move toward the full participation of girls and women in their societies so. What we're doing now at the Clinton foundation under the rubric of that no ceilings initiative. Is partnering with the gates foundation we are doing a comprehensive. Global review and assessment of what we've achieved. And what still remain to be done. And I think the you know the early returns on this because obviously we're partnering with the number of other philanthropy is with the United Nations the world bank and -- itself. The early returns are that the world has made progress. On education primary education we've closed the gap. That existed. In 1995. In primary education. We have begun to close the gap in health. -- still work to be done on maternal mortality on access to reproductive. Family service. Writes in the life but. In education primary education and in. The area of health thanks to many and those of you represented here. The gaps have. -- They're not completely eliminated. But what we still see as remaining a difficult problems and it goes back to the issue about the Nigerian. -- school girls is. We have so much work to -- an economic opportunity. We have an enormous amount of work to do on political and civic participation. And in peace and security. And in fact I I hope that we can have a good. Discussion. Starting today. About what to do with the data that the no ceilings foundation is -- together. So that we can better -- government action. The -- Philanthropic action communities. Activists around what the hard to break. Feelings are we can continue -- work on health and education but we have to also. Put some real emphasis on the political civic. Participation economic participation and women as agents of peace and security. And. What is so powerful is this what you said it's its data driven. That's the -- this initiative -- have the numbers to back up what we're not saying here. Women in the workforce in the workplace it's still -- hot button topic from Haiti quality and not flexible hours right do you believe. That legislative action is needed to speed things -- or is it just changing -- us as a society how we view it. It's both because one of the findings and I appreciate your emphasis on data -- that's really what no ceilings is all about. It's what I started to do as secretary because. -- not only in 95 but even before but certainly -- I was making the moral argument the rights argument the equality arguments humanitarian argument. And then we stop for minute we thought wait a minute there are real costs to societies. Including our own. For the failure to really reach out and make full participation of women and girls a priority. So in the economic. Sphere. It obviously differs from place to place on -- three quick examples when. The new prime minister prime minister -- came into office in Japan. And he was determined and had. Really been elected on his promise that he was going to stimulate growth get -- pan out of decades. You know deflation and stagnation. He came up with. List of priority actions and I think to his surprise frankly. At the top of it was getting more women in Japan. To fully participate in the formal workplace. And he began talking about that and Christine Lagarde my colleague in this effort. Actually went to Tokyo made a speech about. How the fact that women are not even fully participating and welcome to participate and supported in their participation in developed economies like Japan. Was a drag on gross domestic product economic. Prosperity. And that in a time of slow growth globally we didn't. We could afford that we needed to -- opened the doors and get these young women and and women of all ages involved. Secondly if you look at the data out of which that. Insight came. It's pretty convincing the IMF the World Bank they've been doing this work. And what -- they found they are still more than a hundred countries that prohibit women. From holding positions in certain work places and professions just flat out prohibit what we used to have thirty years ago. Secondly even where the laws are not blocking women's participation. There are still cultural. Social. Attitudinal barriers and so you take our country where the percentage. Women on corporate boards is abysmally low. Particularly compared to European counterparts where women in politics is low. Globally fewer than 25% about 21% of all elected parliamentarians. Are women so you begin to start breaking the dated down so when you. Are keeping women out of the workforce and developing countries for all kinds of reasons. Or wind there's a -- that goes off which said you know we need to open the doors. If you change the laws that's not enough there have to be continuing. Effort made to win list and create. A welcoming environment and in our own country what we're finding. Is that there are still too many instances where. Equal pay is not being paid for equal work. We just tried once again in our congress to pass summit called the paycheck fairness act it was unsuccessful. Where -- -- those laws is less than robust. Where you have too many women. And younger women in particular. Being pigeonholed even in 2014. Or where employers are not recognizing. What they can do and shouldn't do. To enlist more women quick example Google -- Google needs to post all of these. Job openings like he -- -- you know that I guess they would do it. Maybe once or twice a year he wanted to apply here's how you did it. And they found it even among their high performing women and Google's been pretty. Open and supportive of women engineers and code errors and others in their company. The women wouldn't be coming forward. And they realize they had to make a greater effort to reach out and actually in lists those women and that's been. Something of my experience having employed a lot of young people over the years. If I go to a young woman and say would you like this responsibility like this new job this you know expanded portfolio. Almost in evidently the answer would be do you really think I can do that do you really think I'm ready for that. Or I'm not sure I can balance that with my family responsibility I'm just I don't know if I can do that. I've never had a young man say that to me. Their response is more like -- what took you so long -- -- God so I I think there are still. The final messages. Pressures that young women in advance economies like our own impose on themselves so we go all the way from. You know. Very difficult circumstances for women economically and many parts of the world to. A lot of progress but still not enough to call -- full participation. You bring up so many extra points. When you talk about Google technology and that is where women are consistently. Under represented include this -- categorize we'll talk about science technology engineering and -- so what do what -- -- do it again girls off the sidelines. That answer well you know what's really. Troubling Robin is that we've gone backwards. That if you look at the percentages. Women getting. Degrees and advanced degrees in -- stem subjects. We are at a lower percentage today than we were thirty years ago. Nice stopping you say yourself what's happening here I think -- is I think it's a couple of things. I think. And I go back to this point and I and give Google credit for this. It's a very -- welcoming atmosphere for a lot of girls and women so they get the degrees. And then they'd try to put them to work. And -- say it's of you know it's a little bit of a wild west still and technology there's a lot of -- both throw a man one -- -- -- then all the rest of it. And it -- -- a difficult. Environment for a lot of you know young women and and for them to feel that their skills their talents are being appreciated. Then I think there is. Feel that being the old stories that are still unfortunately too true today. If you screen somebody literally behind a screen whether it's someone trying out for workers struck. Or is someone doing. A in a written. Test on employment tasker whatever. If people who are making the decisions don't know whether it's a man or woman women. Do a lot better. So you know there are just these remnants. These -- stingy old remnants of a prior. Era that you can't just think we'll go way and in the stem areas despite. How well you know girls do until a certain age when they start to feel crowded out. Or unwelcome. I think our schools our communities our families and certainly our businesses just need to make more of an effort. To try to move back toward a higher percentage of these young women putting their talents to work in this area. You speak abbate prior -- let's look at a future Arum been the go to Maine Graham I am Chelsea. It is -- would congratulate them back. Graduation. Where that's concerned I know -- -- you and your husband are very happy about that and excited. But when you think about this grandchild and you don't know for the boy or girl I don't but when you think of this grandchild what do you want. As far as the advancement especially -- for even if it is aboard a basket for girls and women -- going forward. Well. I want -- healthy happy. Child and and I have a lot of confidence and my daughter and her husband to be. You know the kind of parents that instill the values and create. You know the environment in which a child can. Pursue his or her. Potential. And I don't take that for granted because that doesn't go on in many many places here and elsewhere around the world. And I want to do as much as I can in whatever position -- men. To try to keep raising awareness and finding. Solutions. To the problems that stand in the way of a child being able to develop to the fullest of his or her potential. And and I look at that you know very broadly like one of my initiatives at the Clinton foundation is called too small to fail. And it is aimed at closing the word gap between. Families like mine where. Children who come from families like mine have heard thirty million more words and children come from poor families. And we now know. -- that is literally. Developing the brain and creating. A platform for greater learning. Because when those children. Who come from loving families support -- families but families that. Are stretched and under enormous economic -- stress -- and single parent families. The tie in factor is just so. Overwhelming that win those children all end up in kindergarten. That the children from the families where they've been talked to -- where they've been some two and where they've been read to. Are just so much better prepared for the complex world in which they will work and live. And I want every child not just my grandchild. You know to have that chance so we're working hard with the next generation foundation with Sesame Street with other partners. Two. Help communities. Organized around that and so for you know for my future grandchild it's not -- what I want for him or hurt. It's what kind of society I want for. That child to grow up -- to be a citizen and to contribute to and that's part of why -- do the work that I do. And the work that you do and and have done no one as secretary of state traveled more than you did. I'm not supposed to notice that. Can -- -- from Michael did you. Are you travel to a 112. Countries. And you literature missile a little bit before -- secretary when you're talking about the different views. Around the world -- when it comes to women -- -- in the -- how to. How -- ballots that discussion when you know that there's some people who feel that western views are not those that are shared another culture. Right well first and I reject that I I I believe and you know declaration of universal human rights and I believe every single person. Is entitled to those rights even if their societies may not yet have -- recognize them or delivered on them. But I also believe that you have to make different arguments to different audiences. And that's why going back to the economic. Peace we were discussing. What I found in and I have done this now for many years. In talking to leaders of the kind of society's -- -- referencing. Where girls are in some way either marginalized. Or. Even worse oppressed. And societies where the girls are. Taken care of educated but where they're not encouraged to do very much with that education. What I've tried to do is to find arguments that. Make sense to who have -- talking business and economic argument especially given the data we now have so. You know you can go from a potential of 9% GDP increase. In Japan 234%. In Egypt and all kinds of numbers in between. You have to make it eight you have to make their attitude. Be seen as it should as -- choice that carries a cost. And the most frustrating people to talk to in my experience. Are people who are perfectly happy to send their own daughters to Oxford -- -- An unwilling completely to educate anybody else's daughters. And four kids even middle class kids. Where the elite is so self satisfied. And so proud of their own daughters. And what they can accomplish but so oblivious. And mean spirited. Toward. The countless -- girls and boys in there. In their. Nation. So you make different arguments depending upon who -- we -- talking to. What's so dangerous about Boca -- rom or al-Qaeda or else -- Bob or any of their wanna be affiliates or. There Internet presence. Is that it truly. Does try to use an ideology. That. Abuses religion. To render of the progress that has been made even in those communities. Null and -- to try to turn the clock back I -- remember what these girls were doing they were in a dangerous area. Where Boca rom has -- the countryside. And their parents had taken them out of school. But they wanted to go back to take their exams because they wanted to go on to higher education to be teachers and to be professionals. And to you know fulfilled. Their aspirations and they were supported by their parents fathers and mothers. And that's why Boca her -- saw this as a particularly. Ripe target for them because they wanted to send terror. Into the homes of countless. Families across northern Nigeria. Don't dare try to educate your daughter's so you have to be. Prepared both to make the argument to use the data but you also have to be prepared to confront. This level. Banality. With strong action so it's it's a combination all the time Robin that you're trying to -- what works and what doesn't work and try to get allies and partners. To join you in doing what is necessary at the time and we we've received a number of good questions and some. -- remembered a line what you're saying. Some of -- know what is the role of the federal government in improving educational opportunities for children of color and working to promote. Integrated schools which -- about the united state -- the United States. Well I I think there's several roles but but I want to slightly. Widened the aperture few well let me. Part of reason I'm doing this too small to fail initiative is because I think. That. We've done. A very an adequate job. In helping parents be the best teachers for their own children starting from the very beginning of life there is no more important influence. On what's going to happen educationally for that child than the adults. In that child's immediate surrounding it might be parents grandparents. Aunts uncles older siblings. But we've kind of broken the -- if you will. And there needs to be an acceptance. Commitment on the part of families first and foremost and -- you may have heard of a program called -- the home instruction program for preschool youngsters which -- brought from Israel to Arkansas on we just celebrated the 25 anniversary. The very simple program to train mothers to be their child's first teachers. I believe in that so passionately. Now the next step is good functioning. Prekindergarten programs and I fully applied. What -- to colosio's trying to do and what others across the country and I will say it's quite interesting. I was recently in Tulsa Oklahoma where we rolled out the too small to fail Obama has one of the best free preschool programs. In the country. And it has kind of gotten beyond politics as usual. Recruiting. You know people on both sides of the aisle from many different walks of life so I wanna see that commitment but even -- People such as those that I met in the educator programs other good preschool programs will be the first to tell you. The difference between kids who get that early stimulation and support. From low income families and those who don't is so dramatic so we gotta start. Soon and we have to be sure we're doing it with infants with babies with toddlers. So that then the prekindergarten program can have the maximum positive impact. Assuming it's high quality and -- the numbers prove that to be. -- -- the case over and over again something not just saying it's the right thing a morally he got the numbers to back into his you have a memoir coming out I do next month -- choices you have to hide toysmart choices right so what. And his parents -- -- -- career and read you'd have to make that kind of have had a title hard choices. Well I'd -- I wrote about. The four years. That I serve as secretary of -- really goes from the end of by 2008 primary campaign against then. On Senator Obama to his asking me to be secretary and my finally accepting which was a hard choice for me leaving the senate. And then what we did and what kind and -- sort of vignettes about what we found when we got there what we inherited. An economy in free fall. This so -- Great Recession. Two wars in progress and a lot of continuing and unfortunately. Persistent. Threats that we confronted. And the reason I chose the title is because. I thought. Leaders. Both our president. Leaders of other countries. And myself making hard choices I mean if it was easy. Anybody can do it it would be pretty self evident about what the right choices but very often that's not the case and -- wrote -- I've written about a lot of those hard choices. And in just pick one the president's decision to go after bin Laden that was by no means a sure thing. His his advisors were divided the intelligence was -- certainly strong but not. A 100% convincing. You had to get in to Pakistan. And get out safely. It was a very hard choice. And there are number of those choices that I explain. And tried. Point out. What the options are and how you weigh what to do and what not to do I write about. You know the decision that I made to take the and that Chinese said dissident that was seeking. Refuge in our our embassy. The fairy hard choice when I was leaving -- a few days to go to China for our annual strategic and economic dialogue. And this man was flying to escape from house arrest. And he was in desperate need of medical care and safety. And you know I said go get him and then we had to negotiate over so why did I say go get him. And what are we -- -- try to work with the Chinese about. How to handle it once he was inside the embassy you know there were hard choices all along the path and yelling at the book is about. You everybody faces hard choices everybody face of hard choices in our lives and you've just gone through with a very. Typical experience filled with hard choices and and we're also happy to see you look so beautiful and strong and -- Kelly. -- make these hard choices on our personal lives and our families. But nations make hard choices or fail to make hard choices. You know if you really you can. You can see a lot about. Where nations stand economically. Stability wise conflict lies I whether or not to make hard choices and -- Nigeria has made. -- -- Back hard choices. They have squandered their oil wealth. They have allowed corruption to fester. And now they're losing control of parts of their territory. Because they wouldn't make hard choices about how to rein people land. In contrast. I talk about Botswana. A country that made some hard choices early on. Thanks to enlightened Smart strong leadership. That they were not going to be a victim of the resource Kurtz they were gonna use their diamonds to build schools and hospitals and paved roads and they -- it. And so it's not like these are impassable choices but their hard choices -- often. You have to go against your own political. Supporters and even sometimes your own family your tribe your. -- political party or whatever it might be but. We judge lives and we judge countries on how well they make hard choices. Well speaking of hard choices this comes from the audience. -- to run for president. Parents -- -- -- creating. Would you consider. Elizabeth Warren. -- Julian Castro as a running London. Well aside from never I think -- answering hypothetical good -- It's only audience yeah. -- I've been asked this question many different ways this is one of the -- -- I would expect -- I can only say that you know they're both extraordinary. Leaders and great to have political. Advocates for a lot of what needs to be done in our country and I admire both of them greatly. Com. You -- when I look at your your Twitter page you. The last thing you list -- saying you're a glass ceiling cracker and and no one feels it would be better to cracked that glass ceiling. A woman that's it and many -- without. Well I've I I think we should crack and also I am on your -- -- of that. But I I have nothing further to say about. -- we tried right. Hi -- my path right now. I want to ask Moscow but so it's it's really inspiring to have this discussion and all sincerity and I know this is something that you were very passionate about. And everybody here about philanthropy in and targeting. Women and girls and to devote a whole day. Like this and your initiative so where do you want. How does it not just become dialogue right action right that's it thank you for asking that -- because I feel like this is such an opportunity with -- -- here in this room. And I tell you the way that I see it after having. Done this kind of work for a long time not just on behalf of women and girls but. In the foundation world the Philanthropic world I've heard Aaron talking about. And Marian Wright Edelman the children's defense fund the -- of I think there a couple things one. It is important. To have more cooperation. Among groups such as yourself -- -- working in this area. Because a lot of great work is being done that. Is not being taken to scale. Not being maximized in terms of the political impact because. It's. One organization doing -- warrior one of the -- the one of the groups that you fun doing it so the more American B. Cooperation and synergistic efforts. I think the more we can get them so everybody working on. How weak cracked the code to get more girls going from primary education to secondary education what really works and how do we get governments to adopt what really works. -- we deal with the fact that a lot of parents and developing countries don't want there. Older girls. Going to school. At a distance from where they live they might be open to -- if it were closer if it were more secure whatever the reasons might be. The bicycle example give the girls' bicycles let them then you know ride the secondary school that provides more protection what -- might be. So I would encourage that out of this. Daylong gathering. There -- a working group to really get what you all are doing in this area. Understood kind of laid out on decision map. And see who can work with cool to try to do even more and begin to address the unanswered. Questions. Secondly. Pay attention -- to the areas for the biggest gaps remain as I said initially. We've made progress on education more to be done. We've made progress on health and one of the great. Health stories is bringing down the maternal mortality rate in Afghanistan which as you remember was -- horrific. First or second worst in the world. Governments philanthropy is all across the world working together week we've made progress. But economic opportunities giving women the chance to. Translate their skills in two in come. Looking for ways to support women farmers who are still the vast majority. The farmers in the world particularly in Africa and Asia. Clinton foundation has a great project that we're doing on. Developing anchor farms working with like 20000 farmers 70% of whom are women. Helping them you know an offense learn what cooperatives are like the old -- cooperatives we used to do back in our country. Also civic and political participation. I do not think it is. Out of bounds for our our philanthropy -- here in the United States. Could do more to help women be involved in the civic and political lives and their communities and their countries and I would urge you do that and then thirdly peace and security and I -- the audience. The first. You know global ambassador for women affairs. The -- Revere who is now running the first in the world. Offender at Georgetown in women peace and security. What can we learn about how to solve. Conflicts by using more women most peace treaty's failed. Most cease fires are not -- we are beginning to acquire enough evidence that where women are at the table. There's a greater chance of sustainability. How do we do that what can we learn. Working with groups like -- are so. I do believe there is. Great opportunities. Not just stood there and do the same thing over and over again but to do what's -- and take -- the scale. And to do what needs to be done that is still not being done and we would certainly no ceilings. Be proud to be partners with any and all of you about that. And and lastly along those lines. When. Talking about what we can do moving. Ford and leave the issues that are facing all of us and I I go back to because I'm a sports person go back to numbers and the numbers. Support this the numbers support that if you get women more into the workforce. Jobs are better the economy is better from its well proven so -- that help us and moving forward and knowing that we had back on our side. Absolutely and and and Robin that's true. Four countries at all levels of development. I remember years ago being in Africa. And all I saw were women working. -- you know women working in the fields women working in the markets women carrying firewood women carrying water women cooking -- Constant. Physical activity. I remember saying to an economist. Isn't so how do you account for. The value of all this work in the informal economy and the answer is we don't. And I've I've thought about that a lot and we -- we've begun to make some progress because my first thought was yet but all the women. In this on this continent or in this country in this community stopped working you would know that it really did. Well in my in my view is we we have to make the case and then. Demonstrated over and over again which is why I'm so passion about data. And why that's what we're doing in the no ceilings. Work is too. We're at and we want to visualize the data we want to share the data widely we want it to be used by decision makers by. Governments by funders by international development agencies whomever. Because if we don't -- it. We don't think it counts. And it's true in so much of development. That. The immediate response. Is necessary often urgently so. But the hard work of building sustainable solution. Has. Not quite done enough for us to say we know how to do this. And so we have to take what works but we -- have to keep experimenting with what works and there isn't. A a better source of that kind of experimental. Commitment -- the Philanthropic community. -- -- secretary we appreciate your invaluable time and the work that you're doing. Going still across the country and around the world and something that is so important and passion for you especially. With your new initiative -- so thank you thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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