For Immediate Release
March 15, 2004
From remarks by President Bush, 3/12/04
The advance of freedom in the Greater Middle East has given new rights and new hope to women -- and America will do its part to continue the spread of liberty.
The spread of liberty and hope is essential to the defeat of despair, bitterness, and terror.
The U.S. government stands for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity: the rule of law; limits on the power of the state; free speech; freedom of worship; equal justice; respect for women, religious and ethnic tolerance and protections for private property.
The U.S. government has devoted nearly $75 million dollars to combat the worldwide trafficking in human beings. It is a brutal trade that targets many women and girls.
Last year, we announced an Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- a $15 billion commitment, over five years, to fight this deadly disease.
Each year for the past five years, the United States has provided an average of $155 million in small loans. About 70 percent of those who benefit are women starting their own small businesses.
The rights of women and of all human beings can be assured only within a framework of freedom and democracy. The advance of women's rights and the advance of liberty are ultimately inseparable.
The momentum of liberty is building in the Middle East and beyond. The momentum of freedom in the Middle East is beginning to benefit women.