(CNN) -- California first lady Maria Shriver and her husband, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, are hosting 14,000 women for a nonpartisan forum Wednesday in Long Beach.
Among the presenters, panelists and guests expected at The Women's Conference 2008 are Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, tennis legend Billie Jean King, actress-singer Jennifer Lopez, activist rock star Bono, Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Shriver talked about her expectations for the event Wednesday on CNN's "American Morning."
CNN: Your conference comes in the midst of a national financial crisis. How much of the agenda will be focused on that?
Shriver: Well, I think we're going to start the day focused on that. Warren Buffett will be here, and I think everybody's very interested to hear what he has to say. He'll be in a conversation with my husband, and Chris Matthews will be moderating that.
And certainly the economy affects not just individual people and their own household budgets, but affects the way people, governors govern, the president governs and the whole international community.
I've had a lot of men come up to me at the last minute saying, "Can I get in to hear Warren Buffett?" I said, "No, you have to buy your ticket earlier. You can watch him online, though."
CNN: Barack Obama said he would take advice from Warren Buffett on the economy. How much of your conference is going to be focused on politics, with 12 days to go before the election?
Shriver: People are certainly talking about politics. But if it's any indication, the women that were here last night -- we opened last night, there were about 8,000 women -- [were] talking about family. They're talking about jobs. They're talking about caring for elderly parents. Seventy percent of the unpaid work in the homes, dealing with elderly parents, is done by women. Watch Shriver talk politics on 'Larry King Live' »
They're talking about education. They're talking about children. They're talking about personal finance. There are a lot of different issues that are on women's minds, and we're trying to address all of them.
We're trying to address how to be financially empowered, how to be educated, how to be inspired. How to overcome things in your own life.
We'll have conversations with people like Gloria Steinem and Marian Wright Edelman, how to be an architect of change.
We have a conversation about politics where it's really talking about how women feel about other women running, why this has been a breakthrough year for them.
CNN: It has been a breakthrough year, first with Hillary Clinton and now John McCain choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate. Would a McCain-Palin win mean, for you and others who may not have the same political leanings as Sarah Palin, an advancement for women?
Shriver: Certainly Sarah Palin appeals to a lot of women. Certainly Hillary Clinton appeals to a lot of women and a lot of men. And I think you have to look at both of them and understand that obviously we're a very diverse country.
And both of these women speak to very different kinds of women. Different choices. We have a lot of women governors who speak to other kinds of women.
And I think the more we see women in positions of power and influence, not just in politics, but in business, in the home, running universities -- the less we [say], "That's THE kind of woman that women are supposed to be like," and we take it as a given.
|Most Viewed||Most Emailed||Top Searches|