(Washington, DC) - The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is pleased to celebrate March 2004 as National Women's History Month, marking the important strides, struggles and advances of women in our society.
"We have moved towards a stronger and more equitable country in no small part due to the struggles and courage of women from all walks of life," said Commission Chairperson Dr. Mary Frances Berry, applauding our nation's progress towards parity. Noting that total gender equality has not yet been achieved, Dr. Berry added, "This month we celebrate that progress, while at the same time calling upon society to continue advancing the rights and liberties of all Americans."
The Commission has a long history of review and action on gender equality issues. In recent years, it published a study on equal educational opportunity for girls in advanced math and science, as well as reports on other issues concerning women including health care, poverty and federal contracting.
Today, women continue to make great strides in fields as disparate as business, politics, the arts, law, and science. Nevertheless, Dr. Berry noted that much work is still needed for women to achieve full equal opportunity. "As we honor the past and celebrate the present, we must be ever vigilant and ensure that women who are less fortunate, as well as women of color, benefit from the progress we have made as a society. The continuing prevalence of single women raising families in poverty, the disproportionate HIV/AIDS infection rate among women of color and their higher incarceration rates, as well as continued widespread wage discrimination reminds us that the job of fighting for full equality of opportunity remains very much a work in progress."