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Tierney McAfee
March 09, 2017 11:22 AM

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reemerged on International Women’s Day with a powerful message for a crowd of female leaders: “Never lose your optimism, your persistence and your resistance.”

Speaking at the 16th annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards, an event honoring women in leadership roles, Clinton said Wednesday that women’s voices “have never been more vital than they are right now,” especially in politics.

”These are uncertain, even trying times. But as we all stop to look fear in the face, the result has not only been action, but passion,” she said.

Though she didn’t mention President Donald Trump by name in her remarks, the 2016 Democratic nominee — who wore red in honor of International Women’s Day and also debuted a new, shorter haircut — said that the day commemorating the women’s rights movement seemed to carry even more weight than usual this year.

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“International Women’s Day is always important but this year it feels even more significant,” she said. “A day to recognize that women have always been on the front lines of the most important fights unfolding around us.”

“Never lose your optimism, your persistence and your resistance,” she continued. “We can build the future we envisioned when we started on this journey with Vital Voices two decades ago, for women, for girls around the world and for us here at home.”

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Clinton made similar remarks when she spoke at a Girls Inc. luncheon in New York earlier on Wednesday.

“Let us hope there is a wave of young women running for office in America,” Clinton said as she accepted an award from the nonprofit. “And let’s be sure we support them in every way we can. Let’s help them shatter stereotypes and lift each other up.”

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