Former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton provided the closing remarks of the University of Virginia's two-day Women's Global Leadership forum Tuesday afternoon, as part of the university's bicentennial commemoration. Topics included sexism in politics and elsewhere, but also the protection of democracy in the U.S. WMRA's Marguerite Gallorini has more.
A standing ovation from a majority female audience welcomed the 2016 Democratic candidate .
Hillary Clinton talked about the challenges and double standards women leaders face in their professional lives – and about how to stand their ground even if they're the only woman in the room.
HILLARY CLINTON : Be prepared to speak up. I was asked the other day "Well what do you do when you're in a meeting and maybe you're the only woman there, and you express an idea and nobody pays attention to you. And then, ten minutes later, a man at the same meeting expresses the same idea: what do you do?" Well, look, I think you can say "You know, I'm so glad John heard me." (crowd laughs)
She also addressed new threats, including those she says the Trump administration is ignoring, such as the national security threat posed by the Russian interference with last year’s election. Clinton also cited the leadership of Virginia’s outgoing governor.
CLINTON : One area that I want to give another shout out to Terry [McAuliffe] is: when Virginia saw - what everybody saw - that our voting machines could be hacked so easily, Virginia decided to move to paper ballots. More states need to do that: our voting machines are not safe and secure. Voter suppression is a tactic meant to shrink the electorate. If you cannot win a fair fight in an election, you don't deserve to win.
Clinton did not mention the recent controversy within her own party over allegations that the Democratic primary selection process was unfair. But she did mention the challenges that face voters in sifting through information and news, and the danger of 'alternative facts' to democracy.
CLINTON : There is no such thing as an alternative fact. Those of you who study History know that trying to blur the line between fact and fiction is what dictators and authoritarians do. They want you to see the reality they want you to see. We can't let that happen.