Although women still have a long way to go to truly achieve equality, Meryl Streep wants to remind us that we’ve come a long way in the last century.
“Women didn’t always used to be in the world,” Streep said during her closing speech at the 2016 Women in the World Summit. “We used to be hidden, at home, in the harem, or held on a pretty short leash.”
The Academy Award-winning actress reminded the audience that, “a little bit more than a hundred years ago, which is a fraction of a millisecond on the whole human clock, most of us, our priorities, our concerns, our achievements were invisible. … For thousands of years, in most cultures, the voices of women did not resound in the halls of justice, or from the pulpit or the podium, in parliament, at senates, at court, or in the very important meetings of very important men where the course of history was set.”
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Streep said women’s inclusion in the world at large is a truly revolutionary accomplishment. “You could make a case that, along with the technological revolution, the most provocative upending destabilizing thrilling change in the course of human history is that we’re finally in it. … We’re here now, women are in the world, and we will not be bullied.”
Watch the full speech: