Vice President Kamala Harris spoke for the first time at the United Nations on Tuesday, saying during a meeting on gender equality that democracy depends on the empowerment of women and that democracy around the world is increasingly under pressure.
The United States will work to address both issues, Harris said in a video message to the 65th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
“Democracy requires constant vigilance, constant improvement. This is an ongoing process. And today, we know that democracy is increasingly under a lot of pressure,” said Harris, the first woman elected vice president of the United States.
“The status of democracy also depends largely on the empowerment of women. Not only because excluding women from decision-making is an indicator of flawed democracy, but also because women’s participation strengthens democracy,” she said.
Harris said the administration of President Joe Biden would strengthen its partnership with UN Women, the UN’s agency for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Under the administration of Donald Trump, the United States opposed promoting women’s reproductive rights at the United Nations, criticizing such language for “encouraging abortion.”