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Rep. Clarke Commemorates International Women’s Day

Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement to commemorate the observance of International Women’s Day and National Women’s History Month in March:

“Today, I join the world in the annual celebration of International Women’s Day. This great day falls in the midst of our nation’s observance of National Women’s History Month.

“I celebrated the occasion by attending the International Women’s Day Reception at the White House. There women leaders from Cabinet Secretaries to congresswomen, civil rights leaders, to the young girls in the Girl Scouts joined the celebration. Earlier in the day on Capitol Hill, I also spoke at an economic forum where women leaders and advocacy groups gathered to create a long term strategy to bolster women’s ability to create wealth.

“It is with great pride that I join women leaders from across this country and the world in recognizing of the many economic, political, cultural, and social achievements of women.

“Women of every race, ethnicity, social class, and background have for centuries made many substantial – and often unrecognized – contributions to the development of our society. Women in this nation have time and again shown their collaborative strength and resilience as they have fought for and obtained suffrage, equal pay, workplaces free of harassment, and equal opportunity. The work of pioneers like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Marian Wright Edelman, the Honorable Shirley Chisholm, and many other phenomenal women, known and unknown, made it possible for me to ultimately achieve the honor of being elected to U.S. Congress. We must never forget the ones who came before us.

“As a Member of the Congressional Women’s Caucus, I work to develop legislation relating to women’s health, economic equity, education, domestic violence, child care, child support, sexual harassment and international women’s issues.

“I take time to reflect on the substantial advancement of women world-wide and the work that still must be done. I am committed to the advancement of women in the workforce. That is why in October 2009, I introduced HR 3771, The Veteran, Minority and Women-Owned Construction Business Mentorship and Grant Assistance Act of 2009. The legislation aims to build capacity for small women-owned firms so that they can better compete in the global market. It establishes grant programs for women-owned small business construction companies to help create the internal business systems that are essential for success. It also creates funds that would be made available to local groups and schools to bolster technical assistance to these firms.

“Most powerful women understand that their greatness is not only a result of their successes, but it is also a result of how they handle the challenges before them. That is why we must continue to empower women as they continue to contribute to our world.

“I encourage all Americans to recognize and celebrate women’s historic achievements by commemorating National Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day as well as to use this opportunity to honor women within our own families and communities.”