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Statement by Ambassador Gingrich on International Women’s Day
March 8, 2020

Statement by Ambassador Callista L. Gingrich on International Women’s Day

Photo of a woman at a desk with a typewriter and pen

On International Women’s Day, we pause to celebrate the many incredible contributions of women and girls who have changed the world and inspired the next generation of female leaders.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing the right to vote for women. This historic achievement was made possible because of female trailblazers like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

Throughout American history women have been pioneers in medicine, science, and engineering. Saint Katharine Drexel, a U.S.-born Catholic saint, selflessly served those in need and left an indelible mark on nursing and education. NASA mathematician, Katherine Johnson, contributed to our nation’s first triumphs in human spaceflight and was a champion of STEM education.

I’m proud to serve in an Administration that is committed to continuing this great legacy of female empowerment and achievement at home and abroad.  When women and girls are empowered, entire nations thrive.

Last year President Trump and Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative.  To date, this effort has helped 12 million women start small businesses, attend vocational schools, and access loans. This initiative, which aims to reach 50 million by 2025, will help women thrive and lead their families, communities, and countries into new arenas of excellence.

During my tenure in Rome, I’ve been inspired by the innovation and dedication of female leaders at the Vatican, across the Catholic Church, and within our diplomatic community.  For example, Dr. Barbara Jatta, the Director of the Vatican Museums, leads a renowned institution to new heights.  Sister Patricia Murray, Executive Secretary of the International Union of Superiors General, advocates for women religious who work to advance peace and human rights around the world.  And fellow female diplomats to the Holy See serve their countries with grace and distinction.

As we mark and celebrate International Women’s Day, we must remain committed to empowering all women and girls to pursue their dreams and reach their greatest potential.