Supporting the Goals of International Women's Day

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                               Speech of

                        HON. CAROLYN B. MALONEY

                              of New York

                    in the House of Representatives

                       Wednesday, March 11, 2009

  Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Res. 194, a
resolution to support the goals of International Women's Day. I'd like
to take this opportunity to commend the work of my colleague, Rep. Jan
Schakowsky, for introducing this resolution again in the 111th
Congress, and for her invaluable work in support of women's rights as
co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues.
  In the United States and in countries around the world, women are
agents of change, development, and prosperity, contributing in so many
ways to the well-being of their families and communities. There is
clear and abundant evidence that when women thrive, the entire world
thrives as well.
  However, the benefits of women's full participation in economic,
political, and social life are not being realized in many parts of the
world. In all regions, women are less likely than men to receive pay
commensurate to the value of their work, be given a voice in their
national governments, or have access to basic human rights such as the
right to an education. In many countries, the United States included,
domestic violence is further reducing the opportunities available to
women and girls to lead happy, healthy lives. H. Res. 194 is an
important step towards guaranteeing the basic rights of women and girls
worldwide by calling for an end to this discrimination.
  Throughout my time in Congress, promoting women's rights has been one
of my top legislative priorities. For years I have worked tirelessly
with likeminded colleagues to restore funding to UNFPA, an organization
whose mission is to promote the right of every woman to enjoy a life of
health and equal opportunity. I commend the new Administration for
recognizing the value of this goal by committing to funding UNFPA,
including $50 million in the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.
  However, more needs to be done in the 111th Congress to further
women's rights. That is why I will be introducing a resolution
condemning the actions of the Taliban to restrict girls' access to
education in Swat, Pakistan, as well as H.R. 606, the International
Women's Freedom Act. This bill reflects the goals of International
Women's Day in many ways, as it calls for concerted action on the part
of the State Department and Executive Branch to advance the rights of
women, including creating an Office of International Women's Rights
within the State Department, establishing a women's rights Internet
site, and requiring that Foreign Service Officers receive women's
rights related training.
  This resolution in support of International Women's Day recognizes
the strength, leadership, and capability demonstrated by women in every
village, city, and country. I ask my colleagues to join me in
reaffirming their commitments to protecting the rights of women and
girls around the world, by observing International Women's Day, and by
honoring women's contributions every day.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).