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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 on the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council

President George W. Bush
Washington, DC
April 24, 2002

I am pleased to send greetings to those gathered for the inauguration of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council, coinciding with the visit of Her Excellency Sima Samar, Vice Chair of the Afghan Interim Administration and Minister of Women’s Affairs.

During Chairman Hamid Karzai’s visit this January, we jointly pledged to build a lasting American-Afghan partnership to help Afghanistan forge a future free from terror, want, and war. We also recognized the shared goal of an Afghan government that respects and is accountable to all Afghans, men and women alike. This new U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council is an important part of this undertaking. The Council will promote public and private partnerships between our two countries that will help mobilize resources so that Afghan women can gain the skills and education they need to fulfill their rightful role in society. This is a role that they have been denied far too long.

The Council will focus on concrete actions that help bring real, practical benefits to the women of Afghanistan, starting with the most urgent priorities: education, health, vocational training, and small-sale credit to help launch productive enterprises. This sharp focus will allow the Council to best support the vital task of encouraging women’s participation in Afghan political and economic life. To accomplish this goal, the Council will draw upon the talents of distinguished Americans and Afghans from both the private and public sectors.

For years, during the ruinous tyranny of the Taliban, Americans were rightly outraged by the brutal repression of Afghan women. Today, Afghan women are enjoying new freedoms and opportunities. Now is the time for America and the world to demonstrate more than just sympathy for past injustices. We must work together to offer them real support for a better future. I am proud that the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council is off to a promising start in addressing this vital challenge.

Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a memorable event.

GEORGE W. BUSH



Released on April 29, 2002

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