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U.S. Senate Unanimously Passes Shaheen & Collins’ Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing International Women’s Day 2019

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) issued the following statements after their bipartisan resolution to recognize March 8, 2019 as International Women’s Day unanimously passed the Senate. The resolution celebrates the achievements of women and girls around the globe, and underscores the significant barriers that still stand in the way of women’s full equality and empowerment. 

“Protecting the rights of women and girls around the globe is both a national security priority and a moral obligation. The Senate’s unanimous approval of this resolution reaffirms Congress’ bipartisan commitment to these objectives, and also challenges us all to continue to step up and break down remaining barriers that prevent women in the United States and around the world from enjoying full equality,” said Senator Shaheen. “Whether it’s ensuring that women have access to comprehensive health care services, that girls have the tools they need to complete their education, or that there is female representation in leadership and decision-making —we have more work to do to ensure these issues remain front and center.” 

“Women have blazed trails and broken barriers in every field of endeavor,” said Senator Collins. “International Women's Day celebrates the countless important social, economic, cultural, and political contributions that women are making in the United States and around the world. This resolution recognizes those achievements and reaffirms our enduring commitment to work toward a world that guarantees basic human rights and empowers women of all ages.”

The resolution reaffirms the advancement of women around the globe as a US foreign policy priority and emphasizes that women throughout the world:

  • Have fundamental rights;
  • Participate in the political, social and economic lives of their communities;
  • Play a critical role in providing and caring for their families;
  • Contribute substantially to economic growth and the prevention and resolution of conflict; and
  • Play an important role in the advancement of food security for their communities.

Shaheen and Collins have led the International Women’s Day resolution in the U.S. Senate since 2011, and both are lead sponsors of the Global, Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act. The Global HER Act would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule. 

The only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Shaheen has been a fierce advocate for women and girls in the United States and around the globe. Shaheen has prioritized issues to raise women up, such as opposing efforts to roll back women’s reproductive rights, fighting for the rights of sexual assault survivors, advocating on behalf of family planning and women’s global health, spearheading efforts to end violence against women, securing women leadership roles in conflict resolution and peace negotiations and authoring legislation to address barriers that girls around the world face in accessing education

Last year, bipartisan legislation co-authored by Senator Collins to help protect amateur athletes from sexual abuse was signed into law.  In the last Congress, Senators Shaheen and Collins reintroduced the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA). This bipartisan bill would ensure that combating gender-based violence around the world remains a top diplomatic and development priority for the United States. Senator Collins also introduced the Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2017 last year, which would strengthen the U.S. government’s efforts to end preventable deaths of mothers, newborns, and young children in developing nations around the world.  

The International Women’s Day resolution text can be read here.