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Analysis of Hillary Clinton Speech Essay

Hillary Clinton delivered this speech on 5th September 1995 at Beijing, China during the U.N 4th World Conference at a Women Plenary Session. The speech is remarkable at recognizing women rights as human rights (American Rhetoric 1). Clinton’s posture and body language gives an impression of bitterness against the various inequalities subjected to women. Incidentally, Clinton graces the conference in a pink skirt suit to capture feminine theme. The theme of the speech is promotion of women rights and recognition of women as important gender economically, politically and socially. The speech highlights the various abuses and discriminations that women face across the globe. The tone of the speech is deeply sad. Clinton’s examples of various women rights abuses allow the audience to identify with the issues. These abuses are inflicted on women simply because they are considered a lesser gender. Hillary emphasizes on the significance of education, good healthcare and employment to women. She employed various rhetorical techniques to deliver and powerful, convincing and persuasive argument on the significance of equality on women. The paper seeks to assess how Hillary employed rhetorical techniques including pathos, ethos and logos to ensure that the theme is delivered effectively.


Hillary understands the significance of engaging emotions in delivering a strong argument. Clinton intends to develop a strong connection with the audience. Notably, Hillary’s body language, facial expression and conviction of the heart connect audience emotions. Pathos is the rhetorical technique that is frequently employed in Hillary’s speech. She highlights the various brutal situations that females are subjected to globally. For instance, she states that in some parts of the world, being born a girl led to being drowned, starved or suffocated and at worse broken spine because girls are not valued in the society (American Rhetoric 2). She intends to attract sympathy and zeal to fight the vice. Clinton’s connection of selling girls to slavery of prostitution is made to emphasize the level to which women rights are abused. She almost drives the audience to tears when she notes that dousing women in gasoline, burning them to death because their size of dowry is small, demonstrates serious human rights violation. She also sheds light on women not being given opportunity to make decisions on the size of their families; hence, some are forced to abort while others are sterilized against the consent.

The audience is expected to take action against such abuses as the speaker states it with a deep conviction of the heart. She claims this as a highest level of brutality. Clinton employs pathos rhetorical technique to infuse sympathy into audience hearts. She notes that the people doubting the significance of the conference should listen to voices of women at their homes, neighborhoods as well as workplaces. Pathos rhetorical technique is employed to highlight the various areas of discrimination of women at all sectors of the society. A combination of pathos and ethos increases the zeal for agitation for women rights. She emotionally states that women continually watch their children succumb to malnutrition precipitated by poverty and economic deprivation. It is true that many governments and financial institutions rate women differently when analyzing credit worthiness.

Her assertion that girls are denied the right for schooling by “own fathers and brothers” is emotionally disturbing but factual. Her posture during the speech and facial expressions give emphasis on issues. It is emotional that some women work all night as nurses, hotel clerks or chefs to ensure that they stay with their children during the day. To continue, Clinton states emotionally that rape continues to be used as an instrument of armed conflict. Global refugees constitute women and children. This is disturbing given the conditions that are experienced in refugee camps. Women discrimination is demonstrated by the continuous discussion of women rights separate from human rights. Moreover, she states that genital mutilation is a brutal, degrading and painful practice exercised on women.


Clinton’s speech highlights various facts and percentages to enhance credibility. Ethos is a rhetorical technique that recognizes that credibility of a speech requires infusion of facts and percentages of various existing statistical evidence. A speech that lacks facts is not convincing. Therefore, Hillary creates mental images to the audience via stating various brutal facts on women discrimination. She notes that women make up half of the global population. Additionally, she notes that about seventy percent of the global poor and over two thirds of global population unable to read or write constitute women. This mental image seeks to charge the audience to demand for opportunities for women to reverse the brutal statistics. Clinton effectively employs pathos and ethos when she notes that “It is a violation of human rights when the leading cause of death worldwide among women aged 14 – 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes by their own relatives” (American Rhetoric 3) Clinton’s speech is plausible when authentic facts are given. The audience is persuaded to continue listening when reality is highlighted.

Access to credit, legal and political participation are dimensions women are discriminated against. She is well informed regarding such issues. Additionally, the audience connects well with these facts. Clinton states that there are individuals who doubt how economic and political progress mater to girls and women. She further emphasizes that conferences like this one compel governments and global audience to pay attention, glance and face global challenges including the domestic violence addressed in Nairobi in 1985. This is factual. The use of ethos enhances the credibility of the speech and persuasion. Clinton highlights factual information on the contributions of various women across the globe. For instance, Clinton states that Indonesian women meet regularly at their villages to converse on “nutrition, family planning and baby care” (Clinton 1). On the other hand, she highlights the contribution of South African women in fight against apartheid.

Additionally, Denmark women express their comfort on conviction that their children are safe and cherished after school. All this information assists in connecting Clinton to the global women audience. She demonstrates women thrive for economic prosperity mentioning Indian women who take loans for buying milk cows, rickshaws or thread. The significance of the connection is to indicate that availing credit to women would promote increased success to families. Moreover, the information further promotes the credibility of the speech. It is factual that although women are caretakers to most children and elderly, they are not valued. Clinton facial expression on how historians, popular culture and government leaders have ignored women is convincing.

The gestures promote a sense of urgency to agitate for recognition and equality by modern society. Moreover, she highlights the plight of poor health care by stating that “Women also are dying from diseases that should have been prevented or treated” (Clinton 2). This is factual. Economic deprivation and lack of education force some women into prostitution. For a long time women are deprived of access to credit which implies poverty. It is factual that American women continue struggling on minimum wages raising children. Moreover, such women cannot afford health care. The agility should be gender equality to ensure equal pay and access to credit for such women. Clinton recognizes that women should be engaged in political decisions. In order to ensure that their vulnerability is tackled, it is significant to allow women as voters and as candidates for positions.

In fact, America had celebrated the 75th anniversary of Women Suffrage. This implies that it had taken over 150 years for American women to win the right to make a political decision through voting (American Rhetoric 3). Clinton employs ethos and pathos in highlighting the struggle almost in tears recognizing the efforts of various men and women to ensure that women are involved in political decisions. The emotional appeal and the sense of determination expressed by body language about the victory give the assurance that the fight for women rights is attainable.


Clinton’s speech is persuasive and the speaker delivers it in a reasonable manner ensuring that the audience is related well to the issues. Logos are rhetorical techniques that allow a speaker to declaim reasonably and persuasively in order to connect with the audience by cultivating a collective agitation. Logos are used to indicate that the speaker is well educated on issues the speech seeks to address. Clinton develops logos by highlighting that “We come together in fields and factories, in village markets and supermarkets, in living rooms and board rooms.” This statement draws the attention of all women in various social classes. She further states the movement attracts women washing clothes by the river or playing with their children, or even them taking a break at the office water cooler. She states that all women come together to express their aspirations as well as their concerns. Logos are used to draw the attention of the global women population on necessity of women rights. Clinton explains to the audience the significance of women role in the society that if women are healthy and educated, their families would succeed.

Additionally, she further states that if women are freed from violence, given opportunity to work and remunerated equally, their families would also succeed. Clinton understands that women are discriminated both at their homes and workplaces. She notes that the success of families translates to success of nations. The use of logos at this section of speech connects all women and men to understand that the success of nation depends on opportunities and treatment of females. She notes that everyone is important in society that is why “every woman, every man, every child, every family and every nation on this planet does have a stake in the discussions that take place here” (Clinton 2). Clinton also employs anaphora rhetorical technique to emphasize on various issues. For instance, she repeats the phrase, “It is a violation of human rights”. The repetition of the phrase lays emphasis on the significance of curbing the situations and promoting observation of human rights.

She also repeats the phrase “I have met” while expressing how various women, families and mothers she has met globally, are fighting for women rights in various ways. Her position as a first lady and various encounters mentioned serve to customize the fight for women rights to the global audience. In conclusion, Clinton’s speech is styled uniquely. Initially, the author thanks the organizers for invitation. The role of women and their societal positions is acknowledged. The speech is categorical in setting the necessary mood. The background of women rights agitation is developed stylistically. Clinton is tactical in ensuring that the audience is developed to understand the inequalities women continually face. She demonstrates how cruel the world is to women.

The tactical intention of the speech is to charge the primary audience as well as the global audience to recognize the place of women in the society. The mix between Pathos and ethos gives authenticity of elements of women rights abuse. The assertive posture and emphasis of various issues gives the impression that urgent action is necessary. This speech effectively creates an agitation mindset on all women. The speech concentrates on emotional appeals to obtain total support by all audience. Clinton’s body language provides the necessary assertion on the audience. Her position gives the speech a higher authenticity compared to if another individual delivered the same speech. Notably, the simplicity of examples given facilitates effective connection to the audience. Finally, the speech is effective in creating agitation mood and assertive determination to all women towards demanding for equality.

Works Cited
American Rhetoric, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Remarks to the U.N the World Conference on Women Plenary Session, (Online) 2014, Accessed 6th March 2014 from http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/hillaryclintonbeijingspeech.htm Clinton, H., Hillary Clinton Women’s Rights are Human Rights (Online) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkarsUszRfg

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