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WHEREAS, women play a vital role in worldwide social, economic, cultural, and political development; and
WHEREAS, International Women’s Day, celebrated each year during Women’s History Month, is a global recognition of the important progress women have made towards equality; and
WHEREAS, a gender wage gap continues to persist for women who hold full-time, year-round jobs in the United States, regardless of industry and education, and this gender wage gap is significantly greater for women of color; and
WHEREAS, in the United States, mothers are breadwinners in half of families with children under 18, yet mothers with full-time, year-round jobs are paid an average of 71 cents for every dollar paid to fathers, and this wage gap is significantly greater for women of color; and
WHEREAS, women in the United States and across the world continue to face challenges in accessing comprehensive health care, contributing to unacceptably high maternal mortality rates; and
WHEREAS, women continue to be underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields; and
WHEREAS, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to recognize, reflect on, and celebrate the progress made to advance women’s equality; and
WHEREAS, International Women’s Day is also an opportunity to recommit to the cause of equality and expanded opportunities for women in Virginia, the United States, and the world;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 8, 2019, as INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.