Women of both parties push for girls to have a running start

Bipartisanship and cooperation were the themes of their remarks.

"Now if we could just get all of you to run for office," McMorris Rodgers told the crowd.

"It's really critical we strengthen the bond of sisterhood," Wasserman Schultz noted.

Tina Chen, the chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, recalled working to recruit women to run for local office in Cook County, pointing out that one of their first successes was now-Rep. Jan Schawkowsky (D-Ill.), who was in attendance.

Love, who lost a tough race to Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) last year, spoke of the importance of public service. She has filed candidacy papers for 2014 but has not officially announced another congressional bid.

Gabbard urged the younger women in the audience not to let their age stop them.

Yousafzai, who was shot in the head and neck in October, was unable to attend because she is still recovering from her injuries.

Also honored was Random Kid Inc. CEO Talia Leman, a 17 year old who raised more than $10 million for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Spotted in the crowd: Reps. Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.).

More in In The Know

Original Secret Service ‘girl agent’: Agency needs to hire more women

Read more »