INTRODUCTION OF THE WOMEN WHO WORKED ON THE HOME FRONT WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 181
(Extensions of Remarks - November 13, 2019)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1434-E1435]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  INTRODUCTION OF THE WOMEN WHO WORKED ON THE HOME FRONT WORLD WAR II 
                              MEMORIAL ACT

                                 ______
                                 

                       HON. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON

                      of the district of columbia

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, November 13, 2019

  Ms. NORTON. Madam Speaker, today, I introduce the Women Who Worked on 
the Home Front World War II Memorial Act, which would authorize the 
establishment of a memorial on federal land in the District of Columbia 
commemorating the efforts of the 18 million American women who kept the 
home front running during World War II. Women are dramatically 
underrepresented in our memorials.
  A 17-year-old constituent, Raya Kenney, the founder of the non-profit 
Women Who Worked on the Home Front Foundation, came up with the idea to 
honor the women on the home front who supported the World War II 
effort. Raya wondered why the women on the home front, whose efforts 
were so instrumental in maintaining the stability of the country during 
World War II, have not received much recognition for their 
contributions, compared to the men who fought bravely in World War II. 
This bill would authorize the Women Who Worked on the Home Front 
Foundation to establish the memorial to honor these women. The memorial 
is designed to be interactive and to educate visitors on the important 
roles women played during World War II.
  Between 1940 and 1945, the percentage of women in the workforce 
increased from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent, and by 1945 one in four 
married women worked outside of the home. The work done by women on the 
home front opened doors for women in the workplace generally and had a 
profound effect on the job market going forward. As a result of their 
efforts, women on the home front redefined many occupations that were 
previously considered ``men's work.''
  Just as women were working on the home front, many played critical 
roles in support of the war effort. More than 10,000 women served 
behind the scenes of World War II as codebreakers. Due to the 
classified nature of their work, they did not receive recognition for 
their tireless efforts until recently. Women were also trained to fly 
military aircraft so male pilots could leave for combat duty overseas. 
More than 1,100 female civilian volunteers flew nearly every type of 
military aircraft as part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) 
program. WASP flew planes from factories to bases, transported cargo 
and participated in simulation strafing and target missions. These 
women were not given full military status until 1977, and it was not 
until 2010 that they were recognized with the Congressional Gold Medal.
  Women have largely been ignored in the memorials on federal land in 
the nation's capital, even though they played a key role in

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World War II. Millions of American women took jobs to support their 
families and the country at large during World War II, redefining what 
``women's work'' looks like. In light of these contributions, it is 
important that women who worked on the home front be properly 
recognized in the nation's capital.
  I urge my colleagues to support this bill.

                          ____________________