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Hillary Clinton: US Still Working Toward 'Women's Full Political Participation'

UN Photo/Evan Schneider (NEW YORK) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton, called women's rights the "greatest unfinished business of the 21st century," in a speech Friday at the UN in observance of International Women's Day 2014 where she said that while huge progress has been made since the 1995 Beijing Women's Conference, there's still a long way to full equality.

"No country has achieved women's full political participation, not even my own," Clinton said, as she called on the world to adopt a new set of development commitments for the future in which gender equality is the core focus.

"When women succeed, the world succeeds," she said. "So our new development agenda must be a universal agenda."

Clinton acknowledged that the challenges for women vary in different parts of the world, but said the values remain the same.

"We must ensure for example that women everywhere have the right to find a job, own and inherit property, have access to a valid legal identity," she said, also citing the need for gender parity in education and calling for an end to gender based violence and early and forced marriages.

Though Clinton did not mention abortion outright, she included a push for women's reproductive health and rights, calling the importance of it a "bedrock truth": "There is one lesson from the past in particular we cannot afford to ignore," she remarked. "You cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development without safeguarding women's reproductive health and rights."

Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State and first lady, sat alongside UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who she thanked for leading the way on equality for women and children, but said it is now "up to us" to keep moving forward.

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