“International Women’s Day is more than a moment marked on a calendar. It is a day not just to renew our determination to make the world a more peaceful and prosperous place – but to recognize that a world where opportunities for women grow, is a world where the possibilities for peace, prosperity, and stability grow even more” — Secretary of State John Kerry.
Since arriving in Bucharest more than two years ago, I have had the great privilege of meeting many women determined to make this country more peaceful and prosperous. Like their counterparts in the United States, Romanian women, young and old, work to support the economy, nurture children, and enrich the culture. We should take a moment to reflect upon how much they mean to us.
Romania’s women political leaders are deeply committed to serving the needs of their constituents. Drawing on personal and professional experience, they develop legislation, make difficult decisions, and resolve conflict in the interest of the greater good. We hold the same admiration for women devoted to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), education, and journalism. Where would we be if they were not fighting for the rule of law, defending the environment, teaching our children, seeking the truth, and speaking out for the marginalized?
Women prosecutors and judges are great role models for those seeking a just society in which all are equal under the law. Their integrity and courage contributes to transparency, stability, predictability, and good governance — essential ingredients for economic investment. Their work builds a more prosperous and secure future for all.
In the business world, women are making a difference, from creating small companies employing a few family members to leading major corporations with thousands of workers. Their vision and perseverance help to create wealth, opportunities and employment in Romania, especially for the country’s extremely capable young people.
Serving side-by-side with their male counterparts, women are bravely embracing the challenges of service in the armed forces with skill, determination, and patriotism. We see the same selfless commitment to duty from women in the police, the gendarmerie, and other law enforcement agencies.
We should all have great respect for the doctors and nurses working in hospitals and clinics. Always on call, they ease the pain of those suffering from illness and injury while caring for their own families. We could not do without their expertise and compassion.
Women are playing an increasingly important role in my own profession of diplomacy. As Secretary Kerry has pointed out, “It’s no coincidence that in the United States some of our top diplomats and peace negotiators are women. One of those top women diplomats, Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, recently visited Bucharest and cares deeply about the future of this country.
On International Women’s Day, let us express our most sincere respect and profound gratitude to all of Romania’s hardworking women and honor them for their immeasurable contributions to society and their families.
- Cross posted from U.S. Embassy Bucharest