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Students Participate in Conference on Women

By Maia K. Davis

Discussing issues such as health, education and economic participation, thirteen Harvard students participated Saturday in the Massachusetts Conference on Women.

The conference, inspired by the 1995 United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, occurred in 450 different locations across the country.

Using satellite technology, participants communicated directly with a panel located at the White House that featured First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and a spectrum of other influential women.

In her afternoon address, Clinton, who is coming to speak at Harvard this Friday, reassured women around the nation.

"I believe we have much to show for this one year. Human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights once and for all," Clinton said, echoing the message of the Beijing conference.

The conference also included exhibits, focus groups, a "testimonial wall" and speeches by local figures, such as State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson (D-Boston), the first black woman in the Massachusetts legislature; Mayor Mary Claire Kennedy, the first female mayor of Lawrence, Mass.; and the U.N.'s Assistant Secretary-General Rosario Green, the highest ranking woman in the Secretary-General's office.

Speakers not only discussed national concerns but also addressed problems on a local level.

Dianne Liu, a first-year at Boston College who was featured at the conference, expressed concern about the discrimination in her school.

"I know the war is there, but I can't confront it," she said.

Harvard students said they were somewhat pleased with the outcome of the conference.

"It brought a lot of women activists together and allowed them to exchange ideas," said Supinda Bunya- vanich '98, a member of the Harvard delegation. "You could tell someone about how you felt about an issue, and they would listen because they were interested as well."

Bunyavanich added that "although a lot of it was inspirational, there wasn't much substance to what was said."

The Harvard delegation was sponsored by the Institute of Politics

Bunyavanich added that "although a lot of it was inspirational, there wasn't much substance to what was said."

The Harvard delegation was sponsored by the Institute of Politics

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