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March 8th is now officially Women's Day in Utah
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March 8th is now officially declared to be Women’s Day in Utah

Gov. Spencer Cox talks to members of the media about legislative issues at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Spencer Cox and Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson have declared March 8th “Women’s Day” in Utah. The declaration comes the same day the world celebrates International Women’s Day to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women.

Lt. Gov. Henderson made the announcement and officially signed the declaration at a virtual event hosted by The Women’s Business Center of Utah, World Trade Center Utah, and Maven Create to celebrate Utah’s extraordinary women business owners.

Additionally, she is also calling on all Utahns to support women’s equality and opportunity by “choosing to challenge.” That’s also the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day. 

“I think it just means choosing to challenge the status quo, choosing to challenge any notion that maybe women don’t belong in certain spaces or don’t do as well in certain spaces,” she told KSL’s Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry.

“And challenging outdated notions that – you know – we shouldn’t have a voice. I think it can mean a lot of things.” 

Henderson says in light of the pandemic, it’s especially important to highlight women because across the nation they have disproportionally affected by job loss

“We know that nationally women are bearing the economic burden of this pandemic with four times more women than men leaving the workforce to care for the families as childcare options evaporate and schools shift online.”

She also said she and Governor Cox are making women’s equality a focus of their first 500 days.

“We’re working to boost opportunities for women through upscaling and retraining, scholarships and mentoring, improved childcare options and creative solutions with the private sector.”

According to Henderson, Utah does well with women in business but falls short when it comes to women in government leadership.

“We need more women leaders in government, business, and our communities,” Henderson said. “But we don’t need them simply as experts on women’s issues. We need them because their voices are necessary to improve our state, our country, and our world.”

Other reading:

Statue of the first female lawmaker stands tall at Utah’s State Capitol

Protests on International Women’s Day call for justice

Utah’s 18th governor, Spencer Cox, sworn in on anniversary of statehood