Secretary’s Remarks: Annual Observance of International Women’s Day
Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
March 8, 2018
As we commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8th, the United States renews our steadfast commitment to addressing inequalities between women and men at home and abroad and reaffirms the importance of advancing the status of women and girls globally. We will continue to implement measures to strengthen the economic empowerment of women and girls through policies and programs that promote entrepreneurship as well as broaden equal access to finance, decent work, training, and learning opportunities. We will build upon the success of women who have paved the way for more equality in the fields of defense, peacebuilding, and good governance, and work to solidify gains in these areas. We want to see more girls able to aspire to their full potential and to ensure they live in safe, healthy, and secure environments. Thus, we strive to create and invest in opportunities to enable girls to attain the education and freedoms they deserve.
The United States is committed to working with governments and partners around the globe to ensure that countries everywhere enable women to thrive and realize their rights. In the 21st century, it is unconscionable that about one in three women has experienced some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Far too many societies still deprive women of their human rights, discriminate based upon sex, pose obstacles to women’s ability to contribute to economic development, or fail to uphold the laws intended to protect them. Such conditions deprive individuals, families, and communities of the contributions that empowered women can provide. As the U.S. National Security Strategy has asserted, governments that fail to treat women equally do not allow their societies to reach their full potential.
In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we recognize the leadership, contributions, and courage of women who have made sacrifices in the past, over many generations, to make the world a more safe, prosperous, and peaceful place. We pledge to ensure such progress continues.