Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day

In honor of all women and girls, the U.S. President proclaimed March 2019 to be Women’s History Month.

“During Women’s History Month, we celebrate the countless women whose courage and resolve have contributed to the character and success of our Nation and the entire world.  The equal opportunity of women in every facet of daily life is an essential feature of a free and prosperous society.  This month, we honor women who have fought for equality and against the status quo, and who have broken the bonds of discrimination, partiality, and injustice for the benefit of all.  These women created a legacy that continues to inspire generations of women to live with confidence, to have a positive impact on their communities, and to improve our Nation every single day.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaffirmed the United States’ support for all women who are leading, changing, and contributing to families, communities, society, and the next generation in a March 8 statement.

“Courageous women inspire a better world and are essential to building peace, prosperity, and security for all. We strive for a world in which women and girls are free to realize their full potential and live in dignity along with their families, communities, and countries.”

In addition to being a celebration of women around the world, International Women’s Day (March 8) serves as an annual reminder of the importance of gender equality and the need for all to continue working toward it.  It is also an opportunity to honor  women and men who came before us and had the vision to stand up for the rights of half the population to better the whole.

In honor of this day, Ambassador Kenneth J. Braithwaite gathered the U.S. Embassy Oslo community to celebrate and appreciate the many contributions women make to our Embassy mission, the U.S.-Norwegian relationship, and beyond.  “Women have strengthened the ties between our two countries over many decades,” Ambassador Braithwaite said.  He pointed specifically to  Florence Jaffray Harriman, the first female U.S. Ambassador to Norway, and an extraordinary woman.

Ambassador Harriman served as U.S. Envoy to Norway from 1937 to 1940.  She was the second American woman ever to hold ministerial rank.  Ambassador Harriman’s quick decision-making and leadership at the outset of the World War II in Norway ensured safe evacuation of U.S. nationals.  She also assisted in the protection of the Norwegian Royal Family.  In 1942, Mrs. Harriman was conferred the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav by King Haakon VII of Norway for “distinguished services rendered to Norway and mankind.”

Learn more about Ambassador Harriman here.