March 8 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. In recognition of this occasion, Secretary Clinton said:
"...As many of you know, this anniversary is important to me. At the 1995 Beijing conference, I was so humbled by the positive response to my message that human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights. But 16 years later, women still bear the brunt of poverty, war, disease, and famine. And when it comes to the boardroom meetings, government sessions, peace negotiations, and other assemblies where crucial decisions are made in the world, women are too often absent.
"It is clear that more work needs to be done -- to consolidate our gains and to keep momentum moving forward.
"The United States continues to make women a cornerstone of our foreign policy. It's not just the right thing to do. It's the smart thing. Women and girls drive our economies. They build peace and prosperity. Investing in them means investing in global economic progress, political stability, and greater prosperity for everyone -- the world over.
"So let us mark this day by finding ways to ensure women and girls' access to education, healthcare, jobs, and credit, and to protect their right to live free from violence."
The Department of State and Secretary Clinton are celebrating International Women's Day throughout this week.
On Monday, March 7, Secretary Clinton and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs launch the "100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women & Girls through International Exchanges," a year-long series of events bringing "100 Women" leaders from 92 countries to the United States.
Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus will speak at the launch of the State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report 2011 by microfinance expert, Larry Reed. The report shows how microcredit can be a powerful tool for development and poverty alleviation, particularly for women.
On Tuesday, March 8, Secretary Clinton will host the 2011 International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony with special guest First Lady Michelle Obama, at the Department of State. Ambassador Verveer and other U.S. and foreign dignitaries will also participate.
On Wednesday, March 9, Secretary Clinton will join USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Melinda Gates, and representatives from the partner organizations at the launch of a new maternal and child health initiative between USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Governments of Norway, Grand Challenges Canada and the World Bank.
On Friday, March 11, Secretary Clinton will deliver remarks to the 2011 Women of the World Summit, at the Hudson Theatre in New York City.