International Women’s Day is a time for reflection and celebration of the accomplishments and potential of women from all walks of life. As the 100th anniversary of the global celebration pressed forward, President and Mrs. Obama took time out on Tuesday to honor the sacrifices and successes of women in the U.S. and abroad.
The White House issued a statement on behalf of the president noting his administration’s commitment to the advancement of the causes of women. He reminded Americans exactly what women mean to our society and why it is important to mark International Women’s Day.
“History shows that when women and girls have access to opportunity, societies are more just, economies are more likely to prosper and governments are more likely to serve the needs of all their people,” the president said.
“That is why my administration has stood up for gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world and demanded an end to sexual and gender-based violence,” he continued.
“In the United States and around the world, we will not rest until our mothers, sisters and daughters assume their rightful place as full and equal members of a secure, prosperous and just world,” the president concluded.
At the White House on Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the International Women’s Day Reception to honor the importance of women and young girls in society. Mrs. Obama offered remarks at the event reminding attendees of the power of women today and in the future.
“[A]s more opportunities have become open to women, that hasn’t just enriched our own lives. As we all know, it’s enriched the life of this nation,” the First Lady said.
“[T]hat’s one of the reasons why we have to do this, because we need to remind ourselves and our country that we’re here because of us. Because we as a nation benefit from every girl whose potential is fulfilled [and] from every woman whose talent is tapped,” Mrs. Obama remarked.
International Women’s Day started in 1911 as a result of women across the globe pushing for more rights, better pay, the right to vote, and an end to discrimination. The idea spread in popularity as more countries caught on to the celebration. In some countries today, IWD is an official holiday. In the United States, it falls in the larger Women’s History Month of March.
Since its inception, International Women’s Day has seen great strides in advances for women around the world. Organizers know, however, that the work toward equality for women is far from over – particularly in salaries, corporate leadership, and politics – where women still lag behind men. In other parts of the world, education, health issues and violence are still ongoing concerns.
More information about International Women’s Day is available on their website. There you will find relevant local events, history, and other resources readily available throughout the month of March.