Today Congresswoman Niki Tsongas visited Girls, Inc. in Lowell for a tour and discussion with a group of young girls participating in the center's multitude of beneficial youth programs. Today also marks the fourth anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Congresswoman Tsongas released the following statement.
"Four years ago today, Barack Obama signed his first bill as President of the United States -- the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This landmark legislation restored women's right to fight pay discrimination and has helped to further gender equality in America.
"This afternoon I visited Girls, Inc. in Lowell, a positive all-girl environment that offers pre-teen programs aimed at helping them achieve their goals. I spent time with a dozen young girls who participate in the center's programs. I was struck by their optimism and earnestness, and sought to encourage their potential to become the leaders of tomorrow.
"The efforts of institutions like Girls, Inc., along with national advocacy and legislation such as the Lilly Ledbetter Act, seek to remove the roadblocks many of these girls may encounter and provide women better opportunity to find unobstructed professional success.
"Significant steps have been taken in recent years toward ensuring that women are paid equally and fairly for the work that they do, and helping to end gender discrimination.Just last week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted restrictions on women serving in combat roles, putting our military on a path to giving women the same access to the protections and benefits afforded the men they serve alongside. Continuing to build on these signs of progress will advance the rights of women, benefit middle class families, and strengthen our nation."