For Immediate Release
March 9, 2004
From Ambassador Bremer's remarks, Iraq, 3/8/04
On March 8th, International Women's Day, we recognize the achievements and rights of women around the world.
For the past 30 years, the women of Iraq were subjected to cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment under the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.
Television images cannot begin to capture the horror of Saddam's torture and rape rooms, or of the mass graves which symbolize the misery and poverty he and his regime inflicted on women.
Women in Iraq have been denied fundamental opportunities such as access to education. In Iraq, estimates of female illiteracy run as high as 78 percent.
The rights and status of women in Iraqi society and governance have been an important issue the country's constitutional debate. Leaders from around the world have emphasized that the role of women in Iraq must not be neglected in the context of the country's emerging political structure.
The Coalition and the Iraqi Governing Council are working to ensure full and fair representation and equal rights for the women of Iraq.
Coalition countries will not permit laws or regulations which diminish individual rights, including women's rights.
The Transitional Administrative Law signed Monday contains strong guarantees of women's rights.