Mrs. Mongella, Under Secretary Kittani, distinguished delegates and guests:
I would like to thank the Secretary General of the United Nations for inviting me to be a part of the United Nations Fourth World Conference of Women. This is truly a celebration -- a celebration of the contributions women make in every aspect of life: in the home, on the job, in their communities, as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, learners, workers, citizens and leaders.
It is also a coming together, much of the way women come together ever day in every country.
We come together in fields and in factories. We come together in village markets and supermarkets. We come together in living rooms and board rooms.
Whether it is while playing with our children in the park, or washing clothes in a river, or taking a break at the office water cooler, we come together and talk about our aspirations and concern. And time and again, our talk turns to our children and our families. However different we may be, there is far more that unites us than divides us. We share a common future, and are here to find common ground so that we may help bring new dignity and respect to women and girls all over the world. By doing this, we bring new strength and stability to families as well.
By gathering in Beijing, we are focusing world attention on issues that matter most in the lives of women and their families: access to education, health care, jobs and credit, the chance to enjoy basic legal and human rights and participate fully in the political life of their countries.
There are some who question the reason for this conference.
Let them listen to the voices of women in their homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces.