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Sunday Is Mother's Day

  • VOA News

A man walks on a footpath decorated with lights and billboard by workers capital development authorities to observe International Mother's Day celebration in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 7, 2016.

A man walks on a footpath decorated with lights and billboard by workers capital development authorities to observe International Mother's Day celebration in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 7, 2016.

Sunday is Mother's Day in the U.S. and scores of countries around the world.

Mother's Day is a time to celebrate and appreciate all the work women do.

Families traditionally give their mothers flowers and a fancy dinner to commemorate the day.

U.S. President Barack Obama honored his wife Michelle in his weekly address, thanking her "for the remarkable way she does the most important job: being a mom."

While the U.S. Congress made Mother's Day an official holiday in 1914, Obama urged the current legislative body to pass more substantial measures to honor women, starting with several of his administration's initiatives.

'Give it meaning'

"If Congress can make a holiday, surely they can back it up with the things that give it meaning," Obama said.

"That includes paid maternity and paternity leave, sick leave, accommodations for workers who are pregnant, good health care, affordable child care, flexibility at work, equal pay, and a decent minimum wage. We ask our mothers to do more than their fair share of just about everything. Making sure that they're treated fairly is the least we can do," the president added.

Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother's Day in 1908, began the effort as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers make for their children.

Jarvis had originally envisioned Mother's Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. However, when the day became an official holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants pounced to capitalize on the day's popularity.

Jarvis was disgusted and disowned the holiday before her death in 1948. She had even lobbied the government to remove the holiday from the American calendar.

But Mother's Day persists. It is one of the most popular holidays and one of the biggest for consumer spending.

WATCH: President Obama on Mother's Day

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