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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

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Norton to Testify Before House Natural Resources Committee on Her National Monument for Women in World War II Bill, Tomorrow

Dec 3, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will testify before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands tomorrow, December 4th, at 10:00 a.m. on her Women Who Worked on the Home Front World War II Memorial Act (H.R. 5068), which would authorize the establishment of a memorial on federal land in the District of Columbia commemorating the millions of American women who helped the World War II effort.  The memorial, when completed, would be interactive to educate visitors on the important roles women played during World War II.  Norton, who was the first woman to chair the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), noted that women are dramatically underrepresented in our national memorials. 

The committee will also hear testimony from 17-year-old D.C. resident Raya Kenney, founder of the Women Who Worked on the Home Front Foundation.  Raya came up with the idea to honor women on the home front who supported the World War II effort, and Norton greatly appreciates her activism.

Between 1940 and 1945, the percentage of women in the workforce increased from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent, including 25 percent of married women.  The work done by women on the home front opened doors for women in the workplace itself and had a profound effect on the job market going forward.  In addition, more than 10,000 women served behind the scenes in World War II as codebreakers.

“World War II was fought and won by the entire nation, including millions of women,” Norton said.  “Women have largely been ignored in the memorials on federal land in the nation’s capital, even when they have played key roles, like in WWII.  During this time, American women redefined what ‘women’s work’ looked like, from codebreaking and flying aircraft to health care and factory work.  Women took jobs to support their families and their country.  In light of these contributions, it is time that women who worked on the home front, represented by my bill, be properly recognized in the nation’s capital.”

WHAT: Congresswoman Norton and D.C. resident Raya Kenney testify before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands on H.R. 5068

WHEN: Tomorrow, December 4th at 10:00 AM

WHERE: Longworth House Office Building, Room 1324, 15 Independence Ave SE, Washington DC

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