March 06, 2020

Statement of ABA President Judy Perry Martinez Re: Celebration of International Women’s Day

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2020 – The American Bar Association joins the world community Sunday, March 8, in observing International Women’s Day. We honor and applaud the significant progress made by women and girls worldwide while calling for more rapid and robust changes in laws, culture and attitudes to move toward true equality.

Gender equality is a fundamental human right, yet barriers exist in every country for women and girls to secure equal access to education, health care, employment, and income, which would help them fully participate in democracy. According to the 2020 World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, it will take the world 100 years at our current pace to achieve gender parity in health, education, and economic participation. In the group’s Global Gender Gap rankings, the United States ranks a dismal 53rd in gender parity across the key areas.

This year, we celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment. It has been 100 years since women were guaranteed the right to vote. We have record numbers of women in Congress and Virginia just became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. But women still only represent 23.7% of members of Congress and the ERA faces stiff legal challenges to its adoption. There has been progress, but not enough.

As lawyers, we all care about fairness and justice. Equality makes our country and our world better. The American Bar Association calls on all lawyers, women and men, to work towards gender equality not just in the legal profession, but in all areas of society.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews