I am delighted to welcome the National Women's Hall of Fame to Washington as you celebrate this milestone in our nation's path toward gender equality. I'd like to thank the board members, staff, and volunteers who have kept the mission of the Hall alive by bringing to life the stories of groundbreaking women.
I also want to thank Dr. Condoleezza Rice -- a pioneer in her own right and a champion for women's progress around the world.
So many of us remember the doors that were closed before Title IX. Women were denied access to playing fields, science labs, and classrooms. Now, because of the inspiring work of three people, Birch Bayh, Bernice Sandler, and the late Patsy Mink -- and countless women and men who have come since -- women and girls are legally protected against discrimination in education and sports. It's a simple piece of legislation, but it has leveled the playing field around the country.
I don't think there has ever been a better time in our history to be a woman. But there is more work to be done. The fight for equality -- both here and abroad -- will take all of us working together. We must continue to bend the arc of history so that our daughters and generations to come have even more opportunities.
Congratulations on 40 years of opening doors and expanding opportunity -- and best wishes for the next 40.