Washington, D.C. – On the heels of Veterans Day, the Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act unanimously passed the Senate. This bipartisan bill, authored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), will award a Congressional Gold Medal to “Rosie the Riveters,” the brave women who answered our nation’s call to action and learned new skills, many building the vehicles, weaponry, and ammunitions that were critical to the war effort. The legislation was cosponsored by 76 Senators, including every female Senator.
“This bipartisan legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 16 million ‘Rosie the Riveters’ will provide a long-overdue recognition of these incredible women who stepped up in a time of great need,” said Senator Collins. “During World War II, mothers, wives, and daughters answered our nation's call to action by working tirelessly in factories, farms, shipyards, airplane factories, and other institutions in support of our Armed Forces. Their hard work, dedication, and 'We Can Do It' spirit has inspired many future generations of women.”
“These ‘Rosie the Riveters’ played an invaluable role in our Nation’s efforts during the war. They rose to the challenge and set a powerful example – not only for working women, but for all Americans. Millions of women helped support our troops during WWII, whether they worked on assembly lines, addressed the troops’ medical needs or tended to ships and farms. Today, their example continues to inspire generations to embody the ‘We Can Do It’ spirit. The ‘Rosies’ are among our Nation's greatest living heroines, and they deserve this long-overdue recognition for their tremendous service to our country,” said Senator Casey.
The percentage of women in the workforce jumped from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent between 1940 and 1945. By the end of the war, nearly one out of every four married women worked outside the home. These “Rosie the Riveters” took positions across various industries, but the aviation industry saw the biggest increase of female workers – with more than 310,000 working in the aircraft industry in 1943, representing 65 percent of its workforce.