Post Content

""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.

Lois Pines

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

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

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.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Filing for Divorce in Massachusetts posted on Sep 28

Filing for Divorce in Massachusetts

Even if you and your spouse agree to divorce, taking the step to officially end your marriage can bring on a whole range of emotions you may not have expected. Add the challenge of dividing your assets or arranging custody of your kids, and this   …Continue Reading Filing for Divorce in Massachusetts

Car Seat 101: Is Your Child in the Right Seat and Strapped in Safely? posted on Sep 21

Car Seat 101: Is Your Child in the Right Seat and Strapped in Safely?

This is a guest blog post from the Highway Safety Division (HSD) of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). September 18 marked the start of Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Week across the country. This period promotes awareness to parents and caregivers about the importance of   …Continue Reading Car Seat 101: Is Your Child in the Right Seat and Strapped in Safely?

It’s Apple Picking Season! Learn About This Versatile Fall Fruit posted on Sep 15

It’s Apple Picking Season! Learn About This Versatile Fall Fruit

This is a guest blog post from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), written by Program Coordinator Julia Grimaldi. September is all about apples here in Massachusetts. On September 12, 2016, Governor Baker declared September as “Massachusetts Apple Month.” Apple growers across the state   …Continue Reading It’s Apple Picking Season! Learn About This Versatile Fall Fruit