President Obama has put gender equity and women’s empowerment at the heart of his administration’s work, both at home and abroad. Today, on International Women’s Day, he released a statement about how far we’ve come—and the work we still have left to do:
We are committed to a future in which our daughters and sons have equal opportunities to thrive, because when women succeed, communities and countries succeed. With this promise in mind, we are launching new initiatives on women’s political participation and economic empowerment, combating violence against women, promoting women’s roles and perspectives in conflict prevention and peace-building, and supporting the work of UN Women and other key partners.
Experience shows that true democracy cannot be built without the full and equal participation of half our population. Women’s economic empowerment is essential for economic recovery and growth worldwide. Successful transitions in the Middle East and North Africa will depend on women’s ability to shape their countries’ futures. From Egypt to Yemen and beyond, over the last year we have seen women lead local and national efforts to protest corruption, demand accountability, and establish new institutions.
The United States also recognizes the need to elevate the perspectives of particularly marginalized women worldwide, including refugees and displaced persons, ethnic and religious minorities and women with disabilities. On this day, and every day, we stand with the women and men who bravely champion dignity, freedom, and opportunity for all.