[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

 
PROCLAMATION 8548--AUG. 26, 2010

Proclamation 8548 of August 26, 2010
Women's Equality Day, 2010
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Ninety years ago, on August 26, 1920, the ratification of the 19th
Amendment to our Constitution was completed, guaranteeing women the
right to vote, renewing our commitment to equality and justice, and
marking a turning point in our Nation's history. As we celebrate this
important milestone and the achievements and shattered ceilings of the
past, we also recognize the inequalities that remain and our charge to
overcome them.
In a letter to John Adams, who was then serving as a delegate to the
First Continental Congress, Abigail Adams once implored her husband to
``remember the ladies'' in the ``new code of laws'' of our fledgling
country. It has taken the collective efforts of daring and tenacious
women over many generations to realize the principles and freedoms
enshrined in our Constitution. Standing on the shoulders of these
trailblazers, we pay tribute to the brave women who dot the pages of our
history books, and to those who have quietly broken barriers in our
workplaces, communities, and society.
We can see the remarkable fruits of past struggles and victories today.
For nearly two centuries, America could only imagine a female justice
sitting on the Supreme Court of the United States. Today, for the first
time in our Nation's history, three women sit on the bench of the
highest court of the land, and I am proud to be the first President to
nominate two women to the Court. Women lead in boardrooms and in our
Armed Forces, in classrooms and conference rooms, and in every sector of
society. Their boundless determination has enabled today's young women
to dream bigger as they see themselves reflected at the highest levels
of business, communications, and public service--including in my
Administration and Cabinet. If we continue to fight for our hopes and
aspirations, there will be no limit to the possibilities for our
daughters and granddaughters.
As we celebrate 90 years of progress on Women's Equality Day, we also
recognize the realities of the present. Women comprise less than one-
fifth of our Congress and account for a mere fraction of the chief
executives at the helm of our biggest companies. Women hold only 27
percent of jobs in science and engineering, which are critical to our
economic growth in a 21st-century economy. And, almost 50 years after
the Equal Pay Act was enacted, American women still only earn 77 cents
for every dollar men earn. This gap increases among minority women and
those living with disabilities.

These disparities remind us that our work remains unfinished. My
Administration remains committed to advancing women's equality in all
areas of our society and around the world. I was proud to create the
White House Council on Women and Girls to help ensure that American
women and girls are treated fairly in all matters of public policy. I
also appointed the first White House Advisor on Violence Against Women,
whose leadership will guide my Administration in confronting violence
and sexual assault against women. The Lilly

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Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first bill I signed as President, restored
basic protections against pay discrimination for women, and to build
upon that law, I support passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. I have
also established the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force to ensure
equal pay laws are vigorously enforced throughout the country. Workplace
flexibility is also important to women and families, and we will
continue coordinating with Federal agencies to make quality child care
more affordable, promote work policies that improve work-family balance,
and advance the economic development and security of all women.
Fifteen years after the world gathered in Beijing for the Fourth World
Conference on Women, far too many women around the world still lack
access to basic education and economic opportunity, face gender-based
violence, and cannot participate fully and equally in their societies.
To help address this, I appointed the first-ever Ambassador at Large for
Global Women's Issues to elevate the importance of women's empowerment
in all aspects of our foreign policy. From Afghanistan to the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, the United States will continue its commitment to
the rights of women around the world.
Women's rights are ultimately human rights, and the march for equality
will not end until full parity and equal opportunity are attained in
every State and workplace across our Nation. It remains our
responsibility to ensure that the principles of justice and equality
apply to all Americans, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual
orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status. If we stay true to our
founding ideals and the example of those who insisted upon nothing less
than full equality, we can and will perpetuate the line of progress that
runs throughout our Nation's history for generations to come.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim August 26, 2010, as
Women's Equality Day. I call upon the people of the United States to
celebrate the achievements of women and recommit themselves to the goal
of true gender equality in this country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of
August, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-
fifth.
BARACK OBAMA