03.01.21

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Celebrates Women’s History Month

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee issued the following statement in recognition of the beginning of Women’s History Month: 

“Women’s History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the immense contributions of women in the East Bay and across the country who paved the way for women to lead in government, science, education, and across all fields. This year, as we recognize generations of trailblazing women, we are also celebrating the monumental achievement of electing Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black and Indian American woman to serve in this role.  

“This is an especially momentous moment for our community. VP Harris as a native of the East Bay Area, has made her hometown proud throughout her trailblazing career as the first Black Attorney General in California, first Black and Indian American Woman to serve in the United States Senate from California, and now as the first woman Vice President.  

I know that my mentor and guiding light, the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, is smiling down on us. As the first African American woman member of Congress, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm worked tirelessly to remain unbought and unbossed. In 1972, she also became the first woman to make a bid for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. As we celebrate this historic moment for our country, I am reminded that Shirley Chisholm inspired me to believe that women must lead at every level of government.   

“As we celebrate our nation’s progress, we must also recognize the work that lies ahead for women’s equality, especially as we fight a deadly global pandemic that has pushed nearly 2.3 million women out of the workforce. The converging economic and COVID-19 public health crises have laid bare decades of systemic inequality and racism that disproportionately impact women of color. That’s why we must continue fighting for equal wages, access to child care, reproductive healthcare, and the many issues impacting women today. Last week, House Democrats passed President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which is an important step in tackling this pandemic and economic crisis for women and the millions struggling. 

“Last Congress, I fought alongside my colleagues to empower women across our country by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Raise the Wage Act, and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to ensure equal pay and protect women from workplace discrimination. This Congress, I will continue to work with House Democrats and the Biden-Harris Administration to guarantee that all women can participate equally in our economy and our society. 

“This month and every month, we must remain committed to building on the progress made by countless trailblazing women throughout history and work to tackle the unique challenges faced by women and particularly women of color today."

Women’s History Month has grown from an idea formed in Sonoma, California, in the 1970s by the Education Task Force, to a week established in 1978, to a month-long celebration of the impact of women throughout history. Formally established in 1987, Women’s History Month honors the enormous strides and great accomplishments of women.  It is a reminder to build on their legacy by commemorating the countless ways women have made an impact on the outcome of American history. 

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