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Hillary Clinton seeks end to gender violence by terrorist groups

NEW YORK - Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Friday for a "unified strategy" to end violence against women by terrorists, warning that the practice is growing within groups like ISIS.

"What happened to the Yazidis in Iraq and the hundreds of girls and women kidnapped and forced to become wives, so to speak, of the ISIS terrorists is a tactic that is very ancient," she said. "We had reason to believe [the tactic] was not going to persist in the 21st century, and now it is."

Clinton identified the Lord's Resistance Army, a notorious rebel group based in the Central African Republic, as being "at the forefront of that horrific behavior." Recently, other groups like Boko Haram have adopted its well-documented practice of kidnapping young children, she said.

"In some countries, the kidnapping of girls is not viewed as that serious and you don't see the kind of outrage and commitment to action from governments that you would hope to see."

Clinton's comments came during an hour-long conversation with her former speechwriter, Lissa Muscatine, at the "Women and Girls Rising" conference hosted by the Roosevelt Institute at the Ford Foundation in New York City. Her appearance highlighted her work for women's rights throughout her career, but Clinton also focused on what has not yet been accomplished.

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"Girls and women deserve to be at the center of American foreign policy," she said. "It's reflective of our values. It's part of who we are. It's the unfinished business of the 21st century."

On domestic violence, Clinton reiterated her stance that violence between parties that know each other is "criminal," not "cultural," and requires "criminal responses."

She acknowledged incidents of violence between strangers as another area that requires greater attention and accountability of the government, especially at the local level.

"I think there's just still a huge agenda that is awaiting us," Clinton said. "We know where to look for some solutions but we still have a long way to go before we have adequately addressed gender-based violence."

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