Resolution recognizes March 8 as International Women’s Day, reinvigorates U.S. commitment to supporting global gender equality

March 05, 2015

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and a bipartisan coalition of Senators introduced a resolution Wednesday evening to recognize March 8, 2015 as International Women’s Day (IWD) and commemorate the achievements of women around the world. The International Women’s Day resolution, co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future while also recognizing the obstacles women continue to face in the struggle for equal rights and opportunities. International Women’s Day takes place annually on March 8th.

“We need to do more to protect, support and empower women around the world, and International Women’s Day provides a perfect opportunity to renew that commitment,” Senator Shaheen said. “We must continue striving to achieve true equality.”

Shaheen added, “It’s an honor to lead this celebration of the immeasurable achievements of women past and present as we reaffirm our commitment to empowering women around the globe.”

“With this resolution, the U.S. Senate has reaffirmed its commitment to International Women’s Day and the pursuit of a world that not only empowers women, but also celebrates the important contributions that women are making across the globe,” Senator Collins said. “It is imperative that we continue to pursue policies that guarantee basic human rights of women and girls worldwide.” 

"Every woman should have the freedom to build their own business and provide for their family without threat of violence or discrimination,” Senator Kirk said. “When women are elevated and empowered, the family, community and society benefit. I am proud to join my colleagues on this important issue.”

"International Women's Day reminds us to celebrate the contributions women make around the world and here at home," Senator Mikulski said. "Every day, women fight to build stronger economies, improve conditions for families and communities, and inspire the next generation of young girls. That's why every day I fight to make sure that women are at the table and empowered to make a difference."

“I am proud to join my colleagues to acknowledge the great strides made in our fight for women’s rights and opportunities, to honor the contributions of women across the globe, and to reiterate our commitment to protecting and building on that progress by working to empower women and girls worldwide,” Senator Murray said.

“Whenever I consider a country’s potential for development and growth, one of the first thing I look at is how that country treats its women and girls,” Senator Durbin said. “I am proud to co-sponsor this resolution recognizing International Women’s Day, which celebrates the achievements of women around the world, and which reaffirms our commitment to a future where every girl has access to education, healthcare, and the opportunity to build on those accomplishments.”

“Empowering women is one of the most critical tools in our tool box to fight poverty and injustice. All of us – women and men alike – can help by supporting women’s efforts to claim their legal rights, to be free from violence, earn a decent income, get an education, grow food for their families, and make their voices heard in their communities and beyond,” said Senator Cardin. “Twenty years since Beijing, we’ve made progress integrating the unique needs of women into our domestic and international policies, but there is much more work to be done.”

“Women around the world face unique challenges, but they share the same goal: to achieve equality and fairness. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to honor all that women do for their families, communities and the world,” Senator Feinstein said.

"While there has been some progress over the years, women around the world are still fighting for basic rights like access to education, equal pay for equal work, and freedom from violence and prejudice.  All of us, women and men alike, must continue to fight for full gender equality,” Senator Whitehouse said.  

In support of the goals of IWD, the resolution also affirms the advancement of women as a foreign policy priority for the United States. It also notes that the ability of women to realize their full potential through education and economic empowerment is critical to a nation’s ability to achieve strong and lasting economic growth as well as political and social stability. Specifically, the bipartisan resolution highlights the underrepresentation of women in all aspects of public life, the denial of basic human rights for women in select countries, as well as the threat of violence and abuse too many women around the world continue to face. 

The full text of the resolution is available here.