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Women's Equality Day, 2011

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release August 25, 2011


The 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution toredown the last formal barrier to women's enfranchisement in ourNation and empowered America's women to have their voices heardin the halls of power. This Amendment became law only afterdecades of work by committed trailblazers who fought to extendthe right to vote to women across America. For the women whofought for this right, voting was not the end of the journeyfor equality, but the beginning of a new era in the advancementof our Union. These brave and tenacious women challenged ourNation to live up to its founding principles, and their legacyinspires us to reach ever higher in our pursuit of liberty andequality for all.

Before the Amendment took effect, women had been servingour Nation in the public realm since its earliest days. Evenbefore they gained the right to vote, America's women wereleaders of movements, academics, and reformers, and had evenserved in the Congress. Legions of brave women wrote andlectured for change. They let their feet speak when theirvoices alone were not enough, protesting and marching for theirfundamental right to vote in the face of heckling, jail, andabuse. Their efforts led to enormous progress -- millions uponmillions of women have since used the power of the ballot tohelp shape our country.

Today, our Nation's daughters reap the benefits of thesecourageous pioneers while paving the way for generations ofwomen to come. But work still remains. My Administration iscommitted to advancing equality for all of our people. Thisyear, the Council of Women and Girls released "Women in America:Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being," the mostcomprehensive report in 50 years on the status of women inour country, shedding light on issues women face in employment,crime, health, and family life. We are working to ensure thatwomen-owned businesses can compete in the marketplace, thatwomen are not discriminated against in healthcare, and that weredouble our efforts to bring an end to sexual assault oncollege campuses.

On the 91st anniversary of this landmark in civil rights,we continue to uphold the foundational American principlesthat we are all equal, and that each of us deserves a chanceto pursue our dreams. We honor the heroes who have givenof themselves to advance the causes of justice, opportunity,and prosperity. As we celebrate the legacy of those who made2enormous strides in the last century and before, we renew ourcommitment to hold true to the dreams for which they fought, andwe look forward to a bright future for our Nation's daughters.NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of theUnited States of America, by virtue of the authority vestedin me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States,do hereby proclaim August 26, 2011, as Women's Equality Day.I call upon the people of the United States to celebrate theachievements of women and recommit ourselves to the goal ofgender equality in this country.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand thistwenty-fifth day of August, in the year of our Lordtwo thousand eleven, and of the Independence of theUnited States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

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Date: 8/31/2011 12:00:00 AM

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