For Immediate Release
February 19, 2004
From prepared remarks by Ambassador Bremer at the opening of the Karbala Women's Rights Center, 2/16/04
There is change and hope everywhere in Iraq. Women have continued to enrich Iraqi democracy by participating in the political life of the country.
Iraq women have built and will continue to build stronger communities by bringing new ideas to local councils.
Barriers placed in the way of women are barriers to the development, growth and prosperity of Iraq and of the Arab world.
Women who can read, write, and understand math are not prevented from being good wives and mothers. An educated wife and mother is a better wife and mother.
No husband is better off because his wife is bound by chains of ignorance and no son is better off if his mothers and sisters can't read.
Giving women the opportunity to become educated, to work and to travel is consistent with traditional values.
Women can learn about their rights, draw strength from each other and gain the power of knowledge at women's centers such as the Zainab Al-Hawra'a Center.
At the centers, women can learn not only ancient and universally useful skills like cooking and sewing, but also new skills for the modern world such as how to use computers, to speak English and about the processes of democracy.
The new Iraq will be dedicated to individual rights and liberties without regard to ethnicity, sect or gender.