Remarks by the First Lady at a Women's History Month Reception

March 22, 2023

THE FIRST LADY: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you, Doug. You know, your commitment to supporting women's rights serves as such a powerful example for our nation. Thank you.

And as I look at this room full of women who have led social change movements and shattered glass ceilings, broken the barriers of businesses and even our Earth's atmosphere -- (applause) -- I am inspired.

This audience is a testament to how high women can rise. A testament to the progress we can make when we invest in women and believe in them, when we work together to tear down the barriers that hold so many back.

And we must keep going, not just for ourselves, but for the girls who will inherit our world. (Applause.)

The future engineer who loves exploring, who sees magic in the mechanics and the technologies that connect us to each other but still isn't sure she should raise her hand in class.


THE FIRST LADY: See? They all know. (Laughter.)

The -- the future president or CEO who is told that, hey, her voice is too loud or bold or "bossy."

The star who is told to hide her light. The artist who feels like an outcast.

The girl who feels the smallness of her world closing in, afraid that her dreams are just too big to carry alone.

Again and again and again, they wake up and worry that this world is maybe made for someone else. They wonder if they will ever be good enough, strong enough, or worthy of the lives they dream about.

There are those who continue to ask our daughters to shrink.

Those who are pulling away the hard-won progress that we've made, that our mothers made and their mothers before them. We find ourselves refighting battles we thought we had won a long time ago. (Applause.)

Equality, justice, freedom for all -- these are the flames we must feed with our voices and our vigilance. Because the fight for women's equality should have an end. (Applause.)

Every little girl must know that she belongs in all places of power, that her boldness is beautiful, that her body is her own -- (applause) -- that her future can be anything she wants it to be.

And every little boy must know that caring, collaboration, and kindness are signs of strength, not weakness -- (applause) -- that he can feed and teach and mentor; that this is his fight too. (Applause.)

We need more men to hold each other accountable when women are being hurt or left behind.

Together, we will build a world worthy of that generation.

So to every little girl who has ever wondered, "Can I -- one person, one voice, one girl -- can I make a difference?"


THE FIRST LADY: Standing among -- (laughter) -- standing here among women who have shaped our laws and become leaders in the military, who have organized movements for justice and inspired change, who have brought poetry and art and stories into our lives, we have the answer for those girls: Yes, you matter! (Applause.)

Yes, you can make a difference. Yes, you too can write our history and change our country.

Today, as we celebrate Women's History Month, let us celebrate you and all women who with sweat and sacrifice have shaped this country we call home.

Let us draw strength from those who came before and share that strength, that sisterhood that surround us.

Let our voices be the chorus that calls the next generation forward, that kindles their courage and cheers them on to carve a path of their own.

Let us work with clarity and persistence, with hope in our hearts to continue building the world that our daughters and all children deserve.

Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much.

And now -- and now it is my pleasure to introduce Vice President Kamala Harris -- (applause) -- the first woman to hold her office, but certainly not the last. (Applause.)

Kamala, your strength is an inspiration to women and girls across our country. Thank you for helping to build a world where our girls can not only strive, but lead and thrive.


THE FIRST LADY: Kamala. (Applause.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: That's why she's the First Lady. (Laughter.)

Dr. Jill Biden, I want to thank you for that extraordinary speech and for the introduction and the friendship. You have been -- you know, I see -- and Doug and I see the President and Dr. Biden when the cameras are here and when the cameras aren't. And I will speak of the First Lady to say she is tireless.

She is a full-time educator, and she travels around the world, literally, representing our country and upholding the values that we hold dear for the world to see. And I thank you for that --


THE VICE PRESIDENT: -- and your friendship.

THE FIRST LADY: Thank you.

Jill Biden, Remarks by the First Lady at a Women's History Month Reception Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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