CDA Horowitz – Remarks at Reading of the Play “Seven”

Chargé d’Affaires Paul Horowitz
Reading of the play “SEVEN”  in BiH Federation Parliament
March 8, 2016

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen!

And a special hello and expression of gratitude to all of the ladies in the room today as we celebrate International Women’s Day.

Thank you very much for inviting me to speak on such an auspicious occasion.

I am honored to greet representatives in the BiH government, civil society, media, international organizations, and diplomatic missions in BiH who have gathered this afternoon for this special occasion to hear the reading of the documentary play, “SEVEN.”

Through participation at this event, you have joining something quite special and inspiring – a large coalition of men and women from across the globe, raising your voices in opposition to discrimination and violence against women.

Women are important actors in every society.  Their engagement should not be limited to their role in a family.  Women should be encouraged, recognized and supported in all spheres of public, political, and social life.
Unfortunately today, women in many societies are left vulnerable.  Domestic violence and gender-based violence remain widespread and underreported in many countries, including Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Together, we must ensure that domestic violence is widely and publicly condemned.

Every woman should know that the government and public will NOT tolerate domestic violence.  Stability and prosperity can only be achieved in a society of zero tolerance towards gender-based violence.

I want to emphasize to you the importance of preventing violence against women, as well as providing victims protection and safety.

Safe houses located in and around Bosnia and Herzegovina are providing vital services to victims; and we urge authorities to ensure adequate funding for these and future safe houses.

I also want to underscore the vital role men play throughout these efforts.  Men need to be part of the solution, too, and should play an active role in ensuring equal rights for women.

The United States Government is committed to enhancing the rule of law and improving the work of the justice sector, including addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and gender-based harassment.

And we will continue to provide assistance to the BiH government and NGO sector to combat gender-based violence and economically empower victims.

I hope you will enjoy today’s reading of the play, “SEVEN.”

The life stories you are about to hear of the women – the main actors of this play – remain an incredible source of inspiration for the new generations of women and men who are working to build a better world where the human rights of each individual will be fully respected.

Thank you!