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Story highlights

"Now, the truth is, life hands all of us setbacks," Clinton said

The former first lady has kept a relatively low profile since the election

(CNN) —  

Hillary Clinton, speaking at a women’s empowerment event in New York on Tuesday, stressed the need for more women in politics, while joking about her own resilience after her November election loss to President Donald Trump.

Clinton, who is emerging from relative privacy after her election loss with a series of speeches, credited her family, friends and many of the women she had mentored with giving her the strength to bounce back after losing to Trump.

“Now, the truth is, life hands all of us setbacks,” Clinton said, smirking as many in the audience of the Girls Inc. event laughed. “Now, we know that. And if you have lived long enough, you have experienced them, haven’t you?”

She added: “Now, I have had my ups and my downs. In the last months I have done my share of sleeping, a little soul searching and reflecting, long walks in the woods and in those moments I am thankful for my own village, my community and family and friends who have supported and encouraged me. I have also been buoyed by the love and support that I have received by the young women I have mentored over my lifetime. They inspire me every day.”

Since losing to Trump, Clinton has kept a low profile by keeping her speaking appearances to a minimum. She has yet to sit down for a post-election interview, too.

But Clinton is starting to fill her calendar with speeches and commitments. Clinton will speak Wednesday at an International Women’s Day event in Washington and is slated to give a series of speeches in the coming months. Clinton will also publish a new book of personal essays in fall 2017.

The former secretary of state used Tuesday’s appearance to herald women in leadership and the need for more women to run for office.

“Let us hope there is a wave of young women running for office in America,” Clinton said. “And let’s be sure we support them, in every way we can. Let’s help them shatter stereotypes and lift each other up.”

A number of former Clinton aides have heeded that charge. Amanda Litman, the Clinton campaign’s email director, founded Run for Something after Clinton’s loss. The group will aim to help recruit, train and fund first-time candidate for office.

Emily’s List, a group that backed Clinton’s campaign in 2016, has also launched an effort after Clinton’s loss to fund first-time women candidates.

“Our work is far from over,” Clinton said Tuesday. “In big ways and small, the unfinished business of the 21st Century is the full equality of women.”