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WHEREAS, International Women’s Day is celebrated each year during Women’s History Month, and highlights the historical, cultural, and political achievements of women; and
WHEREAS, this day serves as a call to action against gender discrimination around the world; and
WHEREAS, International Women’s Day has been observed since 1911 and serves as a reminder of the important progress women have made towards equality; and
WHEREAS, the 2021 theme of International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge because from challenge comes change and we can all choose to call out gender bias and inequality; and
WHEREAS, as we celebrate women’s achievements, we can all choose to help create a more inclusive world; and
WHEREAS, studies have found that women, especially women of color, have been more likely than men to be laid off or furloughed; and
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed and intensified the many challenges that women and those who identify as women face in the workplace; and
WHEREAS, many women have been forced out of the workforce as a result of the pandemic; and
WHEREAS, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to #ChooseToChallenge, acknowledge and amplify the progress made to advance women’s rights, and to continue to forge a gender equal world where women are empowered to live, work, and prosper and that celebrates women’s achievements, raises awareness against biases, and takes action.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 8, 2021, as INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.