First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have joined Muslim women leaders in Washington to mark International Women's Day.
During a roundtable discussion, Ms. Rice said the United States wants to help create opportunities in the Middle East for women to participate fully in the lives of their countries. Mrs. Bush condemned the degrading practice of human trafficking, saying it continues to enslave women in many countries.
Women around the world are staging activities in honor of International Women's Day today. At the United Nations, thousands of delegates from 130 countries are meeting to assess progress on a blueprint for equality adopted at a similar conference in Beijing 10 years ago. In Asia, there were rallies and protests against a wide range of gender inequalities.
The first International Women's Day was established in 1910 in Copenhagen and was designed to promote women's suffrage worldwide.