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USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah on the Occasion of International Women's Day
March 8, 2010

Madame Fanfan used to sell rice on the side of the road to support herself and her family, and worried every day about whether she would be able to put food on the table for her five children. But after receiving a small loan from USAID, she was able to purchase a stall in a prime location in a Haitian market, and has diversified her wares beyond rice to include flour, coffee, oil and other products. She has also opened a small restaurant and plans to open an even bigger restaurant to serve the visitors who come to her community since a new airport was built nearby.


March 8, 2010

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Statement by USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah on the Occasion of International Women’s Day

Today we commemorate International Women’s Day and honor the courageous women who endeavor to build a better world for their children, families, societies, and themselves. This is a day to celebrate and acknowledge the essential role women play in the economic, political, and social advancement of their countries.

Development outcomes are greatly dependent on the degree to which women and girls are empowered to realize their potential and to benefit from, and contribute to, their society’s progress. USAID welcomes President Obama’s leadership in its efforts toward achieving women’s empowerment and gender equality. The Agency has a long-standing history of working to improve women’s status and removing constraints that limit their potential.

Join me as we renew our determination to empower women and girls so all of us can succeed.


The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.