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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

Introduction of the Secretary of State on International Women's Day

Dr. Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs
The Treaty Room
Washington, DC
March 8, 2004

Released by the Office of International Women's Issues

Secretary Powell, Minister Bawari, Representative Al-Rahim, Ambassadors, distinguished guests, it is my pleasure to be with you to commemorate International Women’s Day.

The Bush Administration and the American people are firmly committed to the advancement and political and economic empowerment of women around the globe. No country can reach its full potential without affording women their equal rights and equal opportunities. Whether it is in ensuring women’s participation in the political processes in Afghanistan and Iraq or fighting the worldwide scourge of trafficking in persons, the United States has worked steadfastly and aggressively to advance the rights of women. Throughout this effort, there has been no stronger supporter of women’s rights than Secretary Powell. Last year, on International Women’s Day he said “women’s issues affect not only women; they have profound implications for all humankind.”

As we gather here today to observe International Women’s Day, there is still much work to do. Yet we can take pride in the manifold noteworthy accomplishments of recent years which have bolstered the role of women. These achievements – important in their own right – have contributed to the expansion of freedom and democracy worldwide—a key component of America’s foreign policy. But success in empowering women rests fundamentally with women themselves. Recently, I was inspired to see firsthand the hope, courage and determination of Afghanistan’s women when I co-chaired a meeting of the U.S.-Afghan’s Women’s Council in Kabul a week ago.

Secretary Powell, I thank you for your firm commitment to this cause. Honored guests, ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the Secretary of State, Colin Powell.



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