For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 8, 2004
Statement on International Women's Day
Statement by the President
Today, in observance of International Women's Day, the United States reaffirms the principle that freedom is the right of every woman and man, and the future of every nation. The United States continues to work to advance and support the dignity of all people, regardless of gender, race, religion, or ethnic origin.
The best guarantor of the rights of women is freedom and democracy. Free societies allow for free elections, free markets, free press, and free labor unions. They guarantee religious liberty, protect property rights, and educate their people. They protect their freedoms with the consistent and impartial rule of law.
Over the past two years, the advent of democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan has freed millions of people from brutal tyranny. We celebrate that they are now assuming the basic human rights too long denied them. Much remains to be done to consolidate and protect these new rights, but the United States and our international partners are determined to continue this progress.
On this day, women like Aung San Suu Kyi, who remains under house arrest for her efforts to bring democracy to Burma, and Shirin Ebadi, who has spent a lifetime championing human rights, receive recognition. The United States pledges to promote democracy and human rights around the globe, and to help those who struggle to see the same light of liberty now dawning on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.
# # #