‘Derry Girls’ so important as voice of females: Chelsea Clinton

An equal playing field must be created for women in politics, the daughter of a former US president has said.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 7:54 am
Updated Thursday, 30th June 2022, 8:09 am

Chelsea Clinton also pressed the importance of “centring women and girls in story-telling”, such as with the hit TV series ‘Derry Girls’, in which she had a walk-on part.

And Ms Clinton said she was “full of incandescent rage” at the recent overturning of the landmark Roe v Wade ruling on abortion by the US Supreme Court.

She was speaking at Our Place In Space event at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast yesterday following the publication of the book ‘Gutsy Women’ she wrote along with her mother Hillary Clinton.

Chelsea Clinton in conversation with Tara Lynne O'Neill (left) and Marie Louise Muir at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Supreme Court last week ended constitutional protections for abortion that have been in place for nearly 50 years by deciding to overturn the Roe v Wade ruling.

Ms Clinton vowed to work to mitigate harms but she said, despite being asked throughout her life, she has no intention of following in the footsteps of both her parents by running for political office.

“I’ve never seriously thought about it as the path for me at any given point in time,” she told the PA news agency.

“Although I want that question to be asked of everyone whose last name isn’t Clinton because I think the more people who think, ‘oh, I could run for office, I do want to affect change in my community’, the better we all will be.”

Ms Clinton said data from across the world indicates it is much harder for women to run for office and be elected.

“It’s often harder for women to raise money, which in the United States is an important part of the process although it should not be, harder for them to have equal political coverage from journalists often just because of the space that is consumed by describing what a woman is wearing,” she said.

Asked about her appearance in the final episode of the final series of ‘Derry Girls’ which focused on the peace process of the late 1990s which led to the Belfast Agreement, Ms Clinton said she had been excited to be asked to take part as a fan of the show, and immediately said “yes”.

Her father Bill played a central role in encouraging the Northern Ireland parties to reach a deal at that time.

Speaking alongside Tara-Lynne O’Neill, who played Mary Quinn in ‘Derry Girls’, at the Lyric Theatre event, Ms Clinton (inset) said it had been a joy.

“It was such a magical day when she (writer Lisa McGee) and the crew came and we filmed in New York, it was a bright, beautiful sunny day. I was so proud and excited that I was not only at the end of the series but I was at the last day of filming on the entire show.

“It was just a joy. I had even more fun than I expected to have,” she said.

“I cried when I watched it, even though I knew what was going to happen.”

Ms Clinton emphasised the importance of ‘Derry Girls’ as the voice of females, written by a woman, Lisa McGee.

“We know that so often it’s boys who raise their hands to tell stories, to write stories and so I really hope to talk about why I think it’s so important that we empower young girls to tell stories and we continue to support people like Lisa McGee to tell important stories to make our lives more interesting, more full of laughter but also to help us think about the world in important and provocative ways,” she said.