News

In Their Own Words

May 8, 2009

“Afghan President Hamid Karzai has just signed a law that forces women to obey their husbands’ sexual demands, keeps women from leaving the house – even for work or school – without a husband’s permission, automatically grants child custody rights to fathers and grandfathers before mothers, and favors men in inheritance disputes and other legal matters. In short, the law again consigns Afghan women to lives of brutal repression… The ugly truth in Afghanistan is that it has long been sliding back into the violent chaos that is friendly political ground for the Taliban and other extremist groups. Women have, as usual, been among the chief victims. There is indeed a lengthy and urgent to-do list for the Obama administration, which says it is determined to abandon a failing course. But that does not mean the United States should again fail Afghanistan’s women.”
-- Marie Cocco, “Silence Meets Despair of Afghan Women,” Denver Post, April 3, 2009

“Sexual assault scars the lives of millions in the United States. To increase awareness about this issue, prevent future crimes, and aid victims, this month we mark National Sexual Assault Awareness Month… To make continued progress, my Administration supports efforts to help Americans better understand this issue. Working together, we can reduce the incidence of sexual assault and help all who have experienced this heinous crime… I urge all Americans to respond to sexual assault by creating policies at work and school, by engaging in discussions with family and friends, and by making the prevention of sexual assault a priority in their communities.”
--United States President Barack Obama, National Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2009 Proclamation, April 8, 2009