March is Women’s History Month — what better time to celebrate women who have shaped Massachusetts politics?
The Executive Office of Administration and Finance (ANF), the State Library of Massachusetts, and the History, Art & Archives website of the U.S. House of Representatives share information about many pioneers who paved the way for women in politics in the state and the nation.
Edith Nourse Rogers
Before serving Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives for a record-breaking 35 years, Edith Nourse Rogers volunteered as a nurse with the Red Cross and inspected field hospitals during World War I. She was called an “angel” for her work nursing injured veterans and was a long-time supporter of veterans’ rights.
Rogers ran for (and won) her late husband’s seat in the House in 1925, and became the first woman to represent the Bay State in Washington, D.C. Rogers helped create the Women’s Army Corps, worked to set up pensions for army nurses, and helped write the GI Bill.
During her time in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate, Lois Pines stood up for women’s rights and the environment. In 1975, she created and chaired the Asbestos Commission to investigate the health risks of building with asbestos. It was the first commission of its kind in the country.
Pines also cofounded the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, which gave women in politics a place to come together and campaign for women’s rights.
Marie Howe held office in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1965 to 1988. During that time, she helped pass a stronger Lemon Law to protect people from being sold faulty cars in the Commonwealth. She also worked on public transportation issues in the state.
Doris Bunte became the first African American female legislator to serve in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1973. She pushed for racial equality in schools and neighborhoods throughout her legislative career.
Margaret Mary Heckler
In 1966, Margaret Mary Heckler became the first woman elected to represent Massachusetts in Congress who didn’t take her husband’s seat. During her eight terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Heckler supported women’s rights, fought domestic abuse, and worked to help women on maternity leave keep their pensions. In 1977, she helped found the Congresswomen’s Caucus.
Heckler also never lost touch with her constituents — she even set up a toll-free hotline to her Washington office. She spoke up for New England’s fishermen and textile industry and demanded the release of a Massachusetts resident who was arrested for spying overseas.
Massachusetts women have been shaping our state’s political conversation for almost a century. Let’s celebrate their accomplishments — during Women’s History Month and beyond.
Do you know Massachusetts women who have made a difference in politics? Share their stories by commenting below or tweeting @MassGov.
Tags: female leaders, female legislators, influential women, Massachusetts politics, Massachusetts women, women, women in politics, women leaders, women legislators, women's history month, women's rights
Child Support in Massachusetts, Part 2: Changing the Terms of an Arrangement and Enforcement posted on Oct 26
The first part of this child support series focused on how to arrange a child support order and how to make and receive payments in Massachusetts. However, in some cases, you may need to change or enforce your order. The Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division (DOR/CSE) …Continue Reading Child Support in Massachusetts, Part 2: Changing the Terms of an Arrangement and Enforcement
Child Support in Massachusetts, Part 1: Getting an Order and Managing Payments posted on Oct 19
Creating a child support plan is a top concern for most separated or divorced parents in Massachusetts. Figuring out your child support responsibilities and learning how the payment process works can help you create a plan that is best for your child. The Department of Revenue …Continue Reading Child Support in Massachusetts, Part 1: Getting an Order and Managing Payments
It’s Pumpkin Season in Massachusetts! posted on Oct 12
The pumpkin is a well-known symbol of fall in New England. Whether you love carving jack-o’-lanterns or baking delicious fall-themed desserts, pumpkins are a staple of the season. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. …Continue Reading It’s Pumpkin Season in Massachusetts!