On September 5, 1995, while first lady of the United States, Hillary Clinton delivered this speech at the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. This speech represents a defining moment in Clinton’s advocacy for women and in her style as a rhetor.

The rhetorical situation of this speech represented challenges for Clinton as she had faced criticism ever since becoming first lady and received new criticism for agreeing to give the speech.

Arguing the central point that “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights,” the speech contains many rhetorical techniques we have now come to expect from Clinton, including her references to people she has spoken to on the topic, invocation of specific moments in women’s history, and an ethos of someone with the experience and expertise to speak on the topic.

For more on this speech as a transformative moment for Clinton, see this recent news story.

Image Credit: npr.org

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