WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH, 2010
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Countless women have steered the course of our history,
and their stories are ones of steadfast determination. From
reaching for the ballot box to breaking barriers on athletic
fields and battlefields, American women have stood resolute
in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles to realize
their full measure of success. Women’s History Month is an
opportunity for us to recognize the contributions women have
made to our Nation, and to honor those who blazed trails for
women’s empowerment and equality.
Women from all walks of life have improved their
communities and our Nation. Sylvia Mendez and her family
stood up for her right to an education and catalyzed the
desegregation of our schools. Starting as a caseworker in
city government, Dr. Dorothy Height has dedicated her life to
building a more just society. One of our young heroes, Caroline
Moore, contributed to advances in astronomy by discovering a
supernova at age 14.
When women like these reach their potential, our country as
a whole prospers. That is the duty of our Government — not to
guarantee success, but to ensure all Americans can achieve it.
My Administration is working to fulfill this promise with
initiatives like the White House Council on Women and Girls,
which promotes the importance of taking women and girls into
account in Federal policies and programs. This council is
committed to ensuring our Government does all it can to give
our daughters the chance to achieve their dreams.
As we move forward, we must correct persisting
inequalities. Women comprise over 50 percent of our population
but hold fewer than 17 percent of our congressional seats.
More than half our college students are female, yet when they
graduate, their male classmates still receive higher pay on
average for the same work. Women also hold disproportionately
fewer science and engineering jobs. That is why my
Administration launched our Educate to Innovate campaign, which
will inspire young people from all backgrounds to drive America
to the forefront of science, technology, engineering, and math.
By increasing women’s participation in these fields, we will
foster a new generation of innovators to follow in the footsteps
of the three American women selected as 2009 Nobel Laureates.
Our Nation’s commitment to women’s rights must not end
at our own borders, and my Administration is making global
women’s empowerment a core pillar of our foreign policy.
My Administration created the first Office for Global Women’s
Issues and appointed an Ambassador at Large to head it. We
are working with the United Nations and other international
institutions to support women’s equality and to curtail violence
against women and girls, especially in situations of war and
conflict. We are partnering internationally to improve women’s
welfare through targeted investments in agriculture, nutrition,
and health, as well as programs that empower women to contribute
to economic and social progress in their communities. And we
are following through on the commitments I made in Cairo to
promote access to education, improve literacy, and expand
employment opportunities for women and girls.
This month, let us carry forth the legacy of our mothers
and grandmothers. As we honor the women who have shaped our
Nation, we must remember that we are tasked with writing the
next chapter of women’s history. Only if we teach our daughters
that no obstacle is too great for them, that no ceiling can
block their ascent, will we inspire them to reach for their
highest aspirations and achieve true equality.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the
United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in
me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do
hereby proclaim March 2010 as Women’s History Month. I call
upon all our citizens to observe this month with appropriate
programs, ceremonies, and activities that honor the history,
accomplishments, and contributions of American women.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
second day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten,
and of the Independence of the United States of America the
two hundred and thirty-fourth.