Women's History Month

Featured Content March 12, 2019 - Related documents in recognition of the significant contributions that women have made to our nation

Congress passed Public Law 100-9 in 1987 designating the month of March 1987 as Women’s History Month and since 1988, U.S. presidents have issued proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month.

Joint resolution to designate the month of March, 1987, as "Women's History Month" - 101 Stat. 99, Public Law 100-9, 100th Congress, March 12, 1987

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See Presidential Proclamations on Women's History Month in the Compilation of Presidential Documents (compiled from the Federal Register).

Women to Remember

Documents on govinfo related to significant women in history.

Grace Hopper, Computer Scientist

Honoring the life and legacy of Grace Hopper, professor, inventor, entrepreneur, business leader, and Rear Admiral of the Navy - S. Res. 593 (ATS), 115th Congress, July 25, 2018

According to this Senate Resolution, Hopper was the first person to theorize code as words instead of symbols, which was considered impossible by her peers, and after 3 years her team was using the first written-word programming language.

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Sojourner Truth, African American Abolitionist and Women’s Rights Campaigner

Sojourner Truth came to be a powerful voice in the women’s suffrage movement, playing a pivotal role in ensuring the right of all women to vote.

Truth was sold with a flock of sheep for $100 at an auction when she was only 9 years old, according to Senator Stabenow as recorded in this 2009 issue of the Congressional Record. 155 Cong. Rec. S5175, May 6, 2009

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Truth's famous speech “Ain’t I a Woman," was delivered at the Women's Convention in Akron, OH in 1851, and printed in a 2004 issue of the Congressional Record. 150 Cong. Rec. S7514, June 25, 2004

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Remarks by Senator Levin in 1997, the year of the 200th anniversary of the year of Sojourner Truth's birth. 143 Cong. Rec. S10817, October 9, 1997

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Rachel Carson, Environmental Visionary

Honoring the life of Rachel Carson - S. Res. 142 (IS), 114th Congress, April 21, 2015

According to this Senate Resolution, President Kennedy convened an expert panel of scientists to confirm Rachel Carson's scientific findings, leading to the domestic ban on the sale of a chemical known as DDT, an action that many people credit with saving the bald eagle from extinction.

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Betty Friedan, Author of the “Feminine Mystique”

In Honor of Betty Friedan - 152 Cong. Rec. E185, February 17, 2006

According to this 2006 issue of the Congressional Record, ‘‘The Feminine Mystique’’ challenged American society to reevaluate the role of women in our country. In it, Friedan examined the issues of limited choices and limited career prospects for American women.

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Honoring Betty Friedan - 152 Cong. Rec. S977, February 9, 2006

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Billie Jean King, American Tennis Player

Honoring Billie Jean King - 150 Cong. Rec. E655, April 27, 2004

Remarks by Representative Carolyn B. Maloney stating King was outraged in 1972 when she learned that her prize money was $15,000 less than the male champion of the U.S. Open. She threatened not to play unless the prize money was equalized. In 1973, the U.S. Open became the first major tournament to offer equal prize money for men and women.

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Ann Bancroft, American Explorer

Recognizing Ann Bancroft - 147 Cong. Rec. E828, May 17, 2001

Remarks by Representative Luther stating Bancroft was the first woman ever to cross the ice to the North and South Poles. She dogsledded 1,000 miles to the North Pole as the only female member of the Steger Expedition to the South Pole on skis.

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Amelia Earhart, American Aviation Pioneer

Earhart was the first woman to receive pilot certification, the first woman to fly nonstop across the United States, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. Earhart’s commitment to aviation was equaled by her commitment to advancing equality and opportunity for women.

Honoring Amelia Earhart - 143 Cong. Rec.H2570, May 13, 1997

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Amelia Earhart Continues to Inspire - 164 Cong. Rec. H1736, March 21, 2018

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Ann E. Dunwoody, U.S. Army General

Dunwoody is the first female four-star general in America, among many other firsts.

In Recognition of the Retirement of General Ann E. Dunwoody - 158 Cong. Rec. E727, May 8, 2012

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Jeannette Pickering Rankin, American Politician

Elected into the U.S. House of Representatives in 1916, Rankin was the first woman to hold federal office in the United States. She was a women's rights advocate and paved the way for other women to run for office.

Women in Congress 1917 - 2017 - H. Doc. 108-223, April 4, 2017

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Women’s Rights Legislation

Documents on govinfo related to significant women's rights legislation.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 - Codified in 29 U.S.C. 206

The Equal Pay Act aimed to abolish wage disparity based on sex.

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Education Amendments of 1972 - 86 Stat. 235, Public Law 92-318, June 23, 1972

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.

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Women's Educational Equity Act (WEEA) - 88 Stat. 484, Public Law 93-380, August 21, 1974

WEEA was enacted in 1974 to promote educational equity for women in the United States.

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Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 - 92 Stat. 2076, Public Law 95-555, October 31, 1978

This act prohibits sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.

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Family and Medical Leave Act - Codified in 29 U.S.C. 2601

The Family and Medical Leave Act was enacted to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families and to promote the stability and economic security of families. It also allowed employees to take reasonable leave for medical reasons, for the birth or adoption of a child, and for the care of a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition.

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Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) - Codified in 34 U.S.C. III

VAWA was the first comprehensive federal legislative package designed to end violence against women. It included provisions on rape and battering that focused on prevention, funding for victim services and evidentiary matters.

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