US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that actions rather than words are needed to improve the position of women. Speaking to the press after appearing at a conference of women leaders in Brussels, she said, "Women who are in ‘non-traditional roles' say that the horizons are limitless. "But in order to make that true, it has to not just be a statement, it has to be an effort to really remove the barriers that prevent that from being true. That means educating girls, protecting girls, giving political rights to women." The conference, ‘Women: stabilising an insecure world', was held in advance of international women's day, which will be celebrated on 8 March. EU external relations chief Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who organised the event in Brussels, said, "Our focus today is not only on women as victims.