WASHINGTON, DC - Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on H.R.547, which recognizes International Women's Day, which will be observed on March 8:
"I am proud today to join Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky in recognizing the importance of International Women's Day.
"Almost 100 years ago, a group of courageous women proposed creating an International Women's Day to honor the women's rights movement and to continue the fight for universal suffrage. This day has since expanded in scope to serve as an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of women, and recommit ourselves to ending discrimination and violence against women across the globe.
"Since the first commemoration of International Women's Day in 1910, women have made significant advances. Women have been elected to the highest levels of government across the world, and they serve as the leaders of nations such as Chile, Liberia, and Germany. An estimated 10.4 million businesses in the United States are owned by women. Worldwide, women receive eighty percent of all micro-loans to start small businesses. In the United States, women are graduating from high school and college at record rates.
"However, while these accomplishments are indeed significant, we still have far more work to do. In the United States and across the world, women still face obstacles to political and economic equality. While women work two-thirds of the world's working hours, they earn only one percent of the world's income. Of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty, 70 percent are women and children. Violence against women continues at a horrific rate. These are unacceptable statistics, and we must do everything we can to change them.
"As we mark this year's International Women's Day, we must renew and reaffirm our commitment to stopping violence against women and putting an end to discriminatory practices so that all women have a real opportunity to participate in society to the fullest.
"By recognizing International Women's Day and all that it represents, we give hope to women across the world. We honor the women who have fought - and continue to fight - for their rights, and I am proud to stand with them as we continue efforts to achieve equality and justice."