United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
March 8, 2022
Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on International Women’s Day
Gender equality is not only a human rights issue – it is the foundation of any real effort to effectively address our most crucial global challenges. Women’s full and meaningful participation in society profoundly enhances global peace, security, and prosperity.
As we mark International Women’s Day this year, the women on the front lines of humanitarian crises and conflict are at the top of our minds. The United States stands with the women and children who have made up the vast majority of refugees seeking safety from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While many women have left Ukraine, others are remaining behind as caregivers for those who cannot leave, such as the elderly or sick.
As we focus on Ukraine, we cannot take our eyes off the challenges women are facing elsewhere – like in Afghanistan and Ethiopia. Since the Taliban’s takeover, Afghan women have seen decades of hard-fought progress rolled back almost overnight. And in Ethiopia and elsewhere, women have become the explicit target, with rape even being used as a weapon of war against them. We must ensure that all women and girls can live free from the threat of violence and reach their full potential.
Today, on behalf of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, I have signed on to the International Gender Champions network. As an International Gender Champion, I have established a formal senior-level U.S. working group focused on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Harassment within the UN system. The U.S. Mission to the UN will continue to elevate awareness of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment – and promote accountability for perpetrators. Our efforts will contribute to the UN realizing its zero-tolerance policy goals. I have also pledged to more sharply focus U.S. government attention on conflict-related sexual violence and to further promote women’s representation and gender parity in my public engagements. This is not just an act of goodwill. If we build a world that works for women, our nations will all be safer and stronger.
This International Women’s Day, I urge you to join me and pledge to work tirelessly to create a brighter, safer future for women and girls globally.