Recognized as a Representative of a New Cadre of Female Lawmakers

(Washington, D.C.) – The Independent Women's Forum Board of Directors honored Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) as IWF’s 2012 recipient of the Woman of Valor Award at the Woman of Valor 20th Anniversary Dinner, held last night, October 3, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C.

IWF Chairwoman Heather Higgins hailed the Congresswoman as “a representative of a new cadre of female lawmakers who are focused on economic liberty and who understand progressive policies fail women and men.”

The award is given to honor the memory of Barbara Olson, an IWF founder, who perished in the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon. Established to recognize those who, through courage and commitment, are dedicated to advancing the principles we hold dear: economic liberty, personal responsibility and political freedom. Previous award recipients include Lynne Cheney, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Brinker, and Ricky Silberman.

Speaking to a packed ballroom, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack accepted the award and said:

Thank you, Heather, for your kind introduction, and thank you so much for selecting me as the recipient of this very special award. I also want to thank all of the IWF Board Members and staff as well as your sponsors in putting this great event together. You all have done a terrific job.

I am so pleased to accept an award whose namesake reflects the tireless commitment of bringing common sense to the issues that affect our nation. Instead of joining a conventional agenda, Barbara K. Olson stood independently as her own voice when it came to speaking for American women. She was a true leader and a strong voice injecting insightful commentary into our policy-making decisions.

I didn’t know Barbara Olson very well. I met her in the green room a few times at Fox News. I’m honored that I am up here on her behalf. Very honored. You know, I think we look back in our life at that one moment where we meet someone, and – if we only knew what the future would hold – we would spend a little bit more time at that moment to find out what that person was all about. I should have spent a little bit more time in the green room that night to know a little more about Barbara.

You would think that I would argue with you about the conservative movement being clueless with talking to women, but I cannot argue with you because I agree with you. I think that we are missing the boat. When you want to talk to women you must start by recognizing women are intuitive. Woman are so much more complicated than men are and a lot more has to go into communicating with the women of American. And we need to focus on that.

The Independent Women’s Forum has become a force to be reckoned with under the leadership of people like Chairman Heather Higgins and Executive Director Sabrina Schaeffer. As a voice removed from established ideological extremes, I’m proud to have the Independent Women’s Forum serve as a channel through which the principles of a limited government and a free market can be discussed. It is a pleasure and tremendous honor to join the company of some truly amazing women. You all serve as inspiration for those of us seeking to advance the concepts of economic liberties and more efficient government in our country.

Two weeks ago I was in a congressional race that wasn’t targeted, and I was out on the road in Colorado campaigning for Governor Mitt Romney as an independent woman talking about independent women’s issues. I talked about how I am the child of a mother who worked on the Manhattan Project who was told as a woman that you should never let anyone else’s expectations tell you what you can and should be and that only you decide what you can and should be.

The day that I returned to Washington for votes the DCCC shifted all of their money from other districts into my race to say – stay home Mary we don’t want the women involved. The truth of the matter of this presidential election, as well as all of ours, depends on women voters.

Those on the left have dumbed down women’s issues. It’s not solely about contraception and reproductive rights; women want an awfully lot more.

It is this sort of character that inspired the creation of the House Republican Women’s Policy Committee. As chair of this committee, I aim to provide a forum for Republican women of the House to offer their unique voices on a wide range of critically important issues.

Our mission, to effectively speak to women, has just begun. This election proves that the women of America are the future of America. I pledge to you my continued support. I need your support. Women need a voice in leadership to talk about what’s important to them and we need women to stand behind the women who do that.

As mothers, grandmothers, daughters, wives and sisters, we offer a fresh perspective and will work together to propel common sense solutions that will get America back to work and revitalize our economy.

Again, thank you for this very special honor.

Nearly 200 movers and shakers attended the event. Among those in attendance: Christopher DeMuth, Diana Furchgott-Roth, Grover Norquist, John Fund, Christina Hoff Sommers. Sam Lancaster, Tim McGivern, and Jennifer Bendall.


Independent Women's Forum is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and educational institution dedicated to expanding the conservative coalition, both by increasing the number of women who understand and value the benefits of limited government, personal liberty, and free markets, and by countering those who seek to ever expand government in the name of protecting women.