Pelosi Commemorates Women's History Month
'In March, we celebrate Women's History Month and remember the brave women who have contributed to the progress of our country. We recognize those who are changing our communities today and we dedicate ourselves to improving the lives of women for our daughters of tomorrow.
'As the first woman Speaker, I am proud to join the 90 women members of the 110th Congress, the most to serve in the House and Senate in our history. And with a record number of women chairing committees in the House of Representatives, a woman's place is truly in the House.
'Women want what men want: an equal opportunity to succeed, a safe and prosperous America, good paying jobs, better access to health care, and the best possible education for our children. Women want the freedom to make the most of our lives and our own choices, so we too can shape the future of our nation.
'Yet in terms of policies to assist women, we are lagging behind. Paychecks for women have dropped three years in row by almost $1,000. On average, working women earn only 77 cents for every dollar working men earn, and over the last five years, the number of women living in poverty has grown by almost 3 million.
'Democrats believe that all Americans deserve economic security. That is why in our first 100 hours in Congress, we passed legislation to raise the minimum wage after nearly a decade long freeze. This bill will benefit millions of hard-working women, who represent almost 60 percent of all workers who will receive this raise.
'Women must be equal partners in determining the future of this great country. We represent more than half the population and are among the most knowledgeable and critical thinkers, from science and education to health care and national security. America's brave women in uniform are making great sacrifices for America. Nearly 164,000 have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and nearly 45,000 female National Guard and Reservists have served in these countries - some of whom have been called up multiple times.
'As we celebrate the achievements of women throughout history, we are inspired by the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: 'It's up to the women!' Let us rededicate ourselves to making progress of our own.'