Underlining that women make immeasurable contributions to the world, US President Barack Obama has said the gap between women’s inherent value and how many of them are treated everyday is one of the “great injustices” of the current era.
“This gap between women’s inherent value and how many of them are treated every day is one of the great injustices of our time. On this International Women’s Day, we recommit ourselves to closing that gap,” Obama said in his statement on the occasion of International Women’s Day yesterday.
Obama said he is convinced that a world in which women and girls are treated as equal to men and boys is safer, more stable and more prosperous.
“Beyond those tangible benefits, this is simply a matter of right and wrong. Women and girls are human beings, full and equal in rights and dignity. They deserve to be treated that way, everywhere, everyday,” he said.
Noting that without women, economies would collapse, political systems would deteriorate and families and communities would fall apart, Obama rued that yet in too many places women are treated as second-class citizens.
Their abilities are undervalued. And their human rights — the right to learn, to express themselves, to live free from violence, to choose whether and whom to marry — are routinely violated, Obama said.
In another statement, Secretary of State John Kerry said women are peacemakers bringing together warring sides to work for reconciliation.
They are nurses treating Ebola patients despite the risks. They are journalists exposing corruption and countering violent extremism. And they are activists taking a stand against violence and discrimination in the workforce, the home and the city square, he said.
“Every day these leaders are out there advocating for universal rights and aspirations. They are standing up and fighting so that every woman and child can lead full, healthy, and productive lives. Unfortunately, this extraordinary work sometimes puts a target squarely on their backs. By fighting for others’ safety, they jeopardise their own,” Kerry said.
“Our path forward is clear. We must prevent and respond to gender-based violence. That’s not only essential for our collective humanity; it’s critical for our collective security. We must open the doors for women to fully participate in society- as farmers, entrepreneurs, engineers, executives and leaders of their countries,” he said.
On the occasion of Women’s Day, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Leader, said, “Every woman deserves to have respect and recognition in the workforce, security and dignity in their society, a voice and a vote in their government- the opportunity to reach their full potential. Millions of women are still denied these fundamental rights but we look to the promise of our past and know that our future is bright.”