In Their Own Words

Dec 23, 2008

“The Taliban’s continued terror attacks threaten the progress that has been made in Afghanistan. Today, Afghan women are attending school, running for political office, and serving as police officers. Afghanistan has more than 60 female judges and 400 female journalists. Women make up 28 percent of Afghanistan’s parliament, and more than six million children – including two million girls – are now in school. The United States and our allies are working with the government of Afghanistan to build more schools where children can learn, open additional roads so that commerce can grow, and provide basic health care for the Afghan people. These cowardly and shameful acts are condemned by honorable people in the United States and around the world.”
--- First Lady Laura Bush on the acid attacks on Afghanistan, November 13, 2008

“As long as one in three women and girls may be abused in their lifetimes, ending violence against women must be everyone’s business… We thought that the more names we collected, the stronger our case to make ending violence against women a top priority for governments everywhere… A lot of [the Say NO to Violence Against Women] campaign is about trying to make it a part of our conversation, a part of the vernacular. I can use my voice to help their voices be heard.”
--- Actress and UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman presenting a petition with five million signatures to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Associated Press, November 25, 2008

“One of the lessons of aid work in the last 20 years is that foreign assistance often won’t work unless women are front and center. For example, educating boys has many benefits, but there’s pretty good evidence that educating girls is even more effective – primarily because it does more to reduce the number of children in the next generation. Moreover, men already tend to be in the labor force, while educating girls and training them or giving them capital tends to encourage them to participate in the economy in ways that bring real benefits to the household and to the entire economy… Abundant research shows that when women get money, it’s more likely to go to educate children or start small businesses.”
--- Nicholas Kristof, “Women, Front and Center,” New York Times, December 17, 2008

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