Late yesterday, in quiet negotiations out of the public eye, the Bush administration signaled to other nations that it would not unequivocally reaffirm the commitments made by the United States to the world's women a decade ago.
"I am extremely concerned that the U.S. will withdraw its support for women's human rights on the world's stage," said June Zeitlin, executive director of the Women's Environment and Development Organization. "This is in stark contrast to our government's rhetoric supporting women's rights in Afghanistan and Iraq, and would be a terrible step backward."
"The U.S. should reaffirm, not retreat from, women's rights and equality. Globally, this is about saving women's lives," said Eleanor Smeal, president of Feminist Majority.