There is increasing recognition of, and interest in, the contributions of women to the national life of this country in all its important aspects--cultural, political, economic, and social. Significant progress continues in advancing the rights and responsibilities of women, in opening new opportunities, and in overcoming political, legal, social, and economic handicaps to which women have long been subject. Americans must now deal with those inequities that still linger as barriers to the full participation of women in our Nation's life. We must also support and strengthen the laws that prohibit discrimination based on sex.
The United Nations General Assembly, by proclaiming 1975 as International Women's Year, has offered us an exceptional opportunity to focus attention throughout the country on the rights and responsibilities of women. Presidential Proclamation No. 4262 of January 30, 1974, called upon the Congress and the people of the United States, interested groups and organizations, officials of the Federal Government and of State and local governments, educational institutions, and all others who can be of help to provide for the national observance of International Women's Year with practical and constructive measures for the advancement of women in the United States.
I have now determined that it would be in the public interest to establish a National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year, 1975.
Now, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, it is ordered:
SECTION 1. Establishment of a National Commission. (a) There is hereby established a National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year, 1975.
(b) The Commission shall consist of not more than 35 members to be appointed by the President from among citizens in private life. The President shall designate the presiding officer, who may designate from among the members of the Commission as many vice presiding officers as necessary.
(c) The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are invited to designate two Members of each House to serve on the Commission.
(d) The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to receive travel expenses, including per diem, in lieu of subsistence as authorized by law (5 U.S.C. 5703).
SEC. 2. Functions of the Commission. (a) The Commission shall promote the national observance in the United States of International Women's Year. To this end, it will focus attention on the need to encourage appropriate and relevant cooperative activity in the field of women's rights and responsibilities.
(b) The Commission shall take as its action agenda the relevant parts of the resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly proclaiming 1975 as International Women's Year:
(1) To promote equality between men and women.
(2) To ensure the full integration of women in the total development effort, especially by emphasizing women's responsibility and important role in economic, social and cultural development at the national, regional and international levels, particularly during the Second United Nations Development Decade.
(3) To recognize the importance of women's increasing contribution to the development of friendly relations and cooperation among States and to the strengthening of world peace.
(c) The Commission shall keep itself informed of activities undertaken or planned by various organizations and groups in the United States in observance of the Year and shall consult with such groups including the United States Center for International Women's Year.
(d) The Commission shall encourage the public and private sectors to set forth objectives to be achieved as part of the program observing International Women's Year, as provided in the Presidential Proclamation.
(e) The Commission shall, through close liaison with appropriate Government agencies and their public advisory committees, keep itself informed about and make known to the public all major programs and special efforts during International Women's Year which are supported by those agencies.
(f) The Commission shall hold meetings at such times and places as the presiding officer shall determine. It may assemble and disseminate information, issue reports and other publications and conduct such other activities as it may deem appropriate to provide for effective participation of the United States in the domestic observance of International Women's Year.
(g) The Commission may establish, within the limits of available funds, such subcommittees or working groups as may be necessary for the fulfillment of its tasks. The membership may include persons not members of the Commission.
(h) The Commission shall conclude its work by the end of the year 1975 and make a report to the President within thirty days thereafter. The Commission shall then be terminated.
SEC. 3. Assistance and Cooperation. (a) The Commission may request any agency of the Executive branch of the Government to furnish it with such information, advice, and services as may be useful for the fulfillment of the Commission's functions under this Order.
(b) The agencies of the Executive branch are authorized, to the extent permitted by law, to provide the Commission with administrative services, information, facilities and funds necessary for its activities.
(c) The Commission may procure, subject to the availability of funds, the temporary professional services of individuals to assist in its work, in accordance with the provisions of Section 3109 of Title 5 of the United States Code.
SEC. 4. Responsibilities of Government Departments. Each agency of the Executive branch shall designate at least two persons, preferably a man and a woman, to be responsible for planning and implementation of projects and programs within such departments and agencies for the domestic observance of International Women's Year. Persons so designated shall constitute membership of an interdepartmental task force for International Women's Year. The Department of State shall designate the presiding officer. The task force will coordinate the activities undertaken by the Executive branch of the United States Government as well as those undertaken by the Commission in the domestic observance of International Women's Year.
GERALD R. FORD
The White House,
January 9, 1975.