Today, I introduced and the Council passed a resolution commemorating March as Women’s History Month and acknowledging the accomplishments of women in the District of Columbia.
In the District, 52.6% of residents identify as women. Our city is home to a rich and exciting history filled with the exceptional contributions of women across a variety of fields. Mary McLeod Bethune, president of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, purchased a property in the District, making the organization the first Black-led organization headquartered in the District. Native Washingtonian Sharon Pratt became the first woman to lead the District as mayor, and the first Black woman to serve as mayor of a major urban city. And performers such as singer and pianist Shirley Horn along with singer, dancer, actor, and three-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera, are both native Washingtonians.
The District government has a role to play in celebrating the historic accomplishments of women while proactively advancing gender equity through policy and legislation. Last week, I introduced the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Amendment Act of 2022, a bill that will help bring gender equity across the District government. The bill requires District agencies to examine how economic and social policies affect people based on their gender and gender identity and calls for the DC Commission for Women to create an action plan to eliminate these inequities. Despite much progress, women still face discrimination in the workplace, and we must examine and work to reduce these disparities.
This month, and going forward, I’m calling on the DC Commission for Women, the Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives, the Council, and the entire District government to intensify our efforts to advance gender equity in the District.