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March 08, 2021

Statement of Patricia Lee Refo, president, American Bar Association Re: International Womens Day

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2021 – The American Bar Association joins the world today in celebrating International Women’s Day where we commemorate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women while calling on all to accelerate women’s equality.

The 2021 theme, #ChooseToChallenge, asks us all to help create a more inclusive world by working to eradicate gender bias and inequality, while seeking out and celebrating women's achievements.

In the United States, 2021 marks a year when women have made many achievements: Kamala Harris now serves as the nation’s first female vice president; a record 144 women are serving in the 117th Congress, and the ABA is proud to have women serving as Association president, immediate past president, president-elect nominee, House of Delegates Chair in addition to many other talented female volunteer leaders and members.

While this represents great progress, women still only hold 27% of U.S. congressional seats with just 24 women out of 100 U.S. Senators. The most recent World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report finds that, at our current pace, gender parity will not be attained for 99.5 years.

Clearly, much more work needs to be done. Today, we celebrate overcoming barriers and making history. However, we also rededicate ourselves to working towards true gender equity. The ABA remains fully committed to this goal and calls on all lawyers, both women and men, to play a leading role in this struggle for fairness and justice.

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 online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews