08 March 2013

Secretary of State Kerry's comments on International Women's Day

Today, March 8, is the annual observance of International Women's Day.

For this occasion, new Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement that gives too much credit to Condi Rice, but which otherwise is pretty good.

An excerpt:

It is a great and too often untold global success story that so much of the political, economic, and social progress of the last few decades could never have been imaginable without the leadership and courage of strong women. Over the past year alone, we’ve celebrated the landmark ascendance of women to the presidencies of Malawi and South Korea–and here in the United States, we saw the unprecedented election of 20 women to the U.S. Senate. That milestone was particularly meaningful to me, as someone who was sworn in to serve in the United States Senate in 1985, joined by my two teenage daughters and struck by the fact that I had twice as many daughters as there were women in the Senate. Today, with the service of 20 women, the Senate is a stronger, smarter place; more representative of our belief that we are a stronger nation when our leadership reflects our population. I am proud to benefit every day from the wisdom and example of my wife Teresa--who was born in Mozambique, marched against apartheid, speaks five languages and worked with the UN Trusteeship Council, and I am blessed by the lessons I’ve learned from my sister who worked for most of her career at the UN, and most recently at the UN Mission, and another sister who spent decades teaching young girls overseas.

Around the globe, whether they are creating and embracing new opportunities for education and entrepreneurship in Afghanistan, working for democratic reform in Burma, or advancing human rights in the Middle East and North Africa, more women are finding their voices, lifting up communities and nations, and paving the way for future generations to live a better life.

Yet, despite the significant gains women and girls have made, too many challenges and barriers remain...

>> Read the full statement.

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