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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Office of International Women's Issues > Remarks > 2001-2005 International Women's Issues Remarks

Message from First Lady Laura Bush for International Women's Day

Washington, DC
March 8, 2003

Today the world celebrates International Women’s Day, an occasion to honor the accomplishments of women and to reaffirm our commitment to promote and protect women’s human rights worldwide.  Equal opportunity for women and freedom from fear are non-negotiable demands of human dignity.  Although each country, each culture, is unique, we believe that women’s human rights are inalienable.

Well-educated and empowered women are pillars of national development for all countries, including our own.  Allowing all of our citizens, regardless of gender, race or national origin, to realize their full potential is our collective challenge.  As we meet this challenge at home and abroad, the common welfare of humanity is advanced.

The practice of systemic discrimination against women violates fundamental moral and legal norms.  Every society should fully embrace and utilize the human capabilities of this often-repressed half of its population.

America’s resolve to help build a world of hope and opportunity is ever stronger.  All people have the best chance to thrive in societies where fundamental freedoms, human rights, and property rights are ensured.  As we celebrate this day, I encourage all Americans to join us in recognizing the myriad contributions of women in all fields of endeavor around the world.


Released on March 10, 2003

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