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Philadelphia – Hillary Clinton was “absolutely fearless” when she named injustices suffered by women around the world at a United Nations conference in 1995, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow said Thursday at the Democratic National Convention.

The Lansing Democrat recounted how the then-first lady declared that “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights” at the 4th World Conference on Women in China — much to the dismay of the host country.

“I was there,” Stabenow said. “As a human and as an American, I was filled with pride. That’s Hillary: In Beijing she broke the silence, and this November she’ll break the ceiling once and for all.”

Stabenow spoke on stage as part of a “women of the Senate” segment about three hours before Clinton was expected to become the first woman in U.S. history to accept a major political party’s nomination for president.

There are 20 women in the 100-member U.S. Senate, 14 Democrats and six Republicans. Clinton served in the Senate from 2001 to 2009 before going on to serve as secretary of state under President Barack Obama.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, recounted how she and Clinton worked together on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a new way designed to guarantee equal pay for equal work. The bill did not pass when Clinton was in the Senate, but it was the first bill Obama signed into law as president in 2009.

She urged families of America to “suit up” and help elect Clinton this fall.

“With our lipstick on. With our shoes polished. Our shoulders squared. Ready to fight. To put Hillary in the White House,” Mikulski said.

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Detroit home care worker Henrietta Ivey also were scheduled to address the convention.

joosting@detroitnews.com

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