March 12, 2020

Duckworth Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Establish Memorial Commemorating Efforts of Women on the Home Front During WWII


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced bipartisan legislation today to establish a new memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor the contributions of the estimated 18 million women who helped keep our nation’s economy and society running during World War II by working as pilots, engineers, taxi drivers, letter carriers, code breakers and more. The Women Who Worked on the Home Front World War II Memorial Act would also recognize the important role these women played in expanding economic opportunity for future generations of women. Between 1941 and 1945, the female portion of the U.S. workforce increased from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent. U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-01) has introduced bipartisan companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that was passed out of committee with unanimous support yesterday. National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission expressed its support for this legislation after it had a hearing on the bill on February 11, 2020.

“It’s long past time we recognize the contributions hardworking women made during World War II—they rolled up their sleeves and took whatever job was necessary to keep the country moving forward,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to be introducing this bipartisan legislation today that will honor their efforts and help ensure better representation for women in our national memorials.”

“Women were vital to the defense of our country during World War II and redefined what it meant to be a woman in the workforce,” McSally said. “Their stories of commitment and sacrifice need to be honored, told, and remembered. This memorial will serve as an important dedication to those pioneers.”

“Women displayed strong leadership and played a vital role in keeping America running by taking on responsibilities previously held by men during World War II,” said Braun. “A federal memorial in honor of their hard work and sacrifice is overdue.”

“I am grateful to Senators Duckworth, McSally and Braun for introducing our bill and ensuring that it will be a bipartisan bill in the Senate, as it was in the House,” Norton said.  “Women have largely been ignored in the memorials on federal land in the nation’s capital, even though they played key roles throughout American history, especially during World War II.  Eighteen million American women kept the home front running and performed tasks at home that were previously assigned to men.  This bill will honor those efforts and help women to be better represented in our memorials.”