Clinton, Merkel and me in a global war on sexism, by Harriet
Harriet Harman has spoken of her ambitions to sit alongside
Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel in a global crusade against
Labour's deputy leader wants to establish a group of high-ranking
women, including the U.S. Secretary of State and the German
Chancellor, who would meet regularly to fight for equality.
Her announcement, in a speech to EU leaders, also appeared to
be an attempt to burnish her credentials as a future Labour leader.
Miss Harman, the minister for women, said: 'There is, as yet, no international architecture which serves effectively to bring together women leaders who are working for progress along the same lines in each of our own countries. We need to look at how this could be done.'
She made clear she sees herself as a pioneer to rank alongside Mrs Clinton and Mrs Merkel.
She said: 'In the UK we have a new Government Office for Equality - of which I am in charge. Germany has its first woman Chancellor - Angela Merkel - and half the Spanish cabinet are women.
'The U.S. has a woman heading the State Department, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and Hilda Solis as Secretary for Labour. For the first time, the House of Representatives has a woman speaker, Nancy Pelosi.'
Miss Harman said she would seek to enlist the 140 female ministers throughout the EU in a bid to push women's issues.
She said: 'By doing this we can ensure the concerns of the 250million women in the EU are taken into account when decisions are made.'
She also plans to fight to set up a new UN 'consolidated gender entity body to progress issues concerning women'.
Tory spokesman Theresa May accused Miss Harman of putting her personal ambitions ahead of the interests of British working women.
She said: 'We want to ensure that issues affecting women are not forgotten but we all need to concentrate on the job in hand if we are to tackle Labour's jobs crisis and mend our broken economy'.