In 1995, Hillary Clinton made the now iconic statement that “Human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights.” During her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton argued that the subjugation of women was also a national security issue. According to her, women’s rights are both a moral issue and a strategic one.
“Give women equal rights, and entire nations are more stable and secure. Deny women equal rights, and the instability of nations is almost certain,” Clinton stated in 2010. “The subjugation of women is, therefore, a threat to the common security of our world and to the national security of our country.”
The study, which published last month in Political Research Quarterly, analyzed data from 156 countries between the years 1981 and 2005. The research showed that countries with lower levels of women’s rights are more likely to have anti-American terrorist incidents than nations where women’s political rights are valued.
“As someone who studies terrorism, I thought it would be interesting to test Clinton’s claim by examining if countries that repress women are more likely to produce terrorists who threaten American national security,” the study’s corresponding author, Nilay Saiya told PsyPost.org.
Saiya said the study’s findings support the Hillary Doctrine.
“The percent change in the incident rate of terrorist attacks directed against Americans is a 49 percent decrease for every unit increase in women’s political rights,” he explained.
Of course, this isn’t the sole influencer of anti-American terrorism — but the study confirms Clinton’s assertion that it has a major impact. The findings indicate that, in countries where laws and traditions enforce the belief that women are less valuable than men, terrorism against Americans is more likely.
“[T]his likely occurs because a lack of women’s rights compounds the societal issues that allow extremism to thrive,” Saiya added.
Clinton has repeatedly emphasized that the advancement of women’s and girl’s rights are “the unfinished business of the 21st century.” The findings of this new study provide further confirmation that she is completely correct.