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Celebrating International Women's Day

March 8, 2011
The following post appears courtesy of Susan B. Carbon, Director of the Office on Violence Against Women. Today, March 8, the Office on Violence Against Women joins the global community in honoring both Women’s History Month and the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day. It is a fitting opportunity to reflect critically on how far we have come for equality, and the great strides we have made in ending violence against women internationally. In the United States, these two historic March celebrations provide a time to remember women’s suffrage advocates like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony, who believed women had a voice that was important to be heard before their male and female peers. It is a time to celebrate Elizabeth Blackwell and Rebecca Lee Crumpler who paved the way for equality for women in the medical field, regardless of both gender and race. It is a time to commemorate Arabella Mansfield and Ada H. Kepley and Sandra Day O’Connor, who shattered the glass doors of the courthouse to allow women to enter the field of law. It is a time to honor Margaret Chase Smith and Susanna Medora Salter and Nancy Pelosi, who gave women not just a voice at the ballot box but in the decisions of city halls and the United States Congress. We also honor others who have pursued the quest for equality and to end violence against women. We honor the achievements of men like Vice President Joe Biden, who in 1994 had the commitment and conscience to take on this international atrocity by penning the Violence Against Women Act. We honor organizations across the country that are addressing issues of bystander, specifically male bystander, intervention and the importance of every member of a community being an advocate to stop sexual and domestic violence against women when they see it -- and acknowledge its presence even when they don’t see it. We are grateful to have the support of the President and his administration for our work to end the violence, and to have his strong voice in commemorating this month. As he stated in his Presidential Proclamation: "I have also called on every agency in the Federal Government to be part of the solution to ending violence against women, and they have responded with unprecedented cooperation to protect victims of domestic and sexual violence and enable survivors to break the cycle of abuse." But we also take this time to look to how far we have to go to create a world where women are empowered in all ways and for an end to violence against women for future generations. Nationally and internationally, the atrocities of violence against women are far from solved. At the Office on Violence Against Women, we take every opportunity to engage the field, and our federal partners and colleagues, to end this violence. We also hope this month encourages you to renew your commitment and add your voice to the goal of seeing that violence against women is a part of our history, not our present or future. We remind all those in need of assistance, or other concerned friends and individuals, to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.

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Updated April 27, 2017