U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video

International Women's Day

Statement by Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
March 10, 2008

International Women’s Day reminds us of the critical role women play in addressing the economic, political, and human security challenges our world faces. The enfranchisement of women, supported at all levels, is essential to meeting our global prosperity. As history unfolds, nations are increasingly judged by whether they afford women equal opportunity. It is undeniable that the advancement of countries is inhibited when women are excluded, and it is unacceptable that women continue to be deprived of the opportunity to reach their full potential.

This year, it is my privilege to grant the second annual Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage award to eight extraordinary women who are working to promote political and economic opportunity, human dignity, and human rights. These women risk their own safety and freedom while working to transform their own societies in order to create a more democratic, peaceful, and prosperous world for all of us.

We know that improving the status of women can be seen by some as a threat. With sadness we note the death in Pakistan of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a woman of great courage who was dedicated to building a democratic future for her country. We acknowledge the bravery of Aung Sung Suu Kyi in Burma. We remember the thousands of unnamed prisoners of political conscience worldwide. And we salute the women in our own military who are serving worldwide to defend our interests and support all who share our ideals, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan

We also know that more must be done to protect women around the world. During the week of March 10, judges and legal practitioners from across the globe will gather at the U.S. Department of State to take action against violations such as rape, domestic violence, trafficking, prostitution and other atrocities. Together, they will work to generate strategies that ensure greater justice for women.

Women are standing for freedom and justice all around the globe. This International Women’s Day, we proudly honor those women whose courage and determination are contributing to a better world.

2008/168



Released on March 10, 2008

  Back to top

U.S. Department of State
USA.govU.S. Department of StateUpdates  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information

Published by the U.S. Department of State Website at http://www.state.gov maintained by the Bureau of Public Affairs.