As Women's History Month comes to a close, Vice President Kamala Harris is celebrating women who have "lifted each other up, lifted our nation up" in a video address. Harris's list of heroes includes the suffragettes, riveters, and marchers we read about in books, as well as the equally important but often less-acknowledged changemakers like engineer Radia Perlman, mathematician Mary Jackson, agricultural pioneer Harriet Williams Russell Strong, educational civil-rights leader Felicitas Méndez, and LGBTQ+ activist Sylvia Rivera. Harris has also had the opportunity to swear in so many modern heroes — many of them women breaking glass ceilings in their own careers — in her first months in office.
The list expands further when you consider the many powerful women who risk their health and take time away from their families to keep the rest of the country safe, healthy, and nurtured amid the coronavirus pandemic. "I want the women of America to know that President Biden and I, we see you," Harris said, acknowledging women who have lost jobs or prospects due to COVID-19. "We're here to deal with it. The president and I are working with Congress to deliver immediate relief." She cited the stimulus checks and the Child Tax Credit included in the American Rescue Plan. VP Harris has been a leading voice when it comes to addressing how COVID-19 has impacted women in the workforce, naming it a "national emergency" and meeting with women small-business owners to hear about how they've been affected by the economic blow.
Harris's plans for the future include equal pay for equal work, fair time off and healthcare, and high-quality, affordable day care. "Women make the world work, and in this future, the world will work for women," Harris said. "And when it does, we will all be safer, stronger, and more prosperous." Her address today comes on the heels of her speeches to the UN at the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women and to the European Parliament on International Women's Day earlier this month. Watch the vice president's full address above.