Each March, Americans mark Women's History Month by celebrating the critical role that women have played throughout our nation's history.
Women have made great strides in the march to full equality, from winning universal voting rights to assuming roles once reserved only for men. Women have fought wars for this country, and they have helped to end them. They have ensured that our children are safe, healthy, and well educated. Over the years, women's voices have grown louder in the boardroom, in science labs, and in the halls of government -- including the U.S. Senate, which now includes a record 20 women.
But we have a long way to go. We are more than half of this country, but we're still fewer than a fifth of the people representing it in Congress. Just 21 women run a Fortune 500 company. And women still earn on average just 77 cents for every dollar made by a man -- a wage gap that will cost a woman and her family $434,000 over the course of her career. We can all be proud of the progress that's been made in our lifetimes but will never forget that there is still work left to do.
So while Women's History Month gives us a chance to celebrate the all that we have achieved, the best way to honor that legacy is by ensuring every woman has equality under the law, in the workplace, in the classroom, and in every facet of society. We owe it to our mothers, our daughters, and our country.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer