The Commonwealth’s official heroine, Deborah Sampson, fought with courage in the Revolutionary War under a man’s name and was later given the first military pension ever awarded to a woman.
Massachusetts celebrates and supports women all year through services for female veterans and advocacy for women’s rights in the Commonwealth, provided by the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS), Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW), and Supplier Diversity Office (SDO).
Women Veterans’ Services
DVS provides support and resources for women veterans throughout Massachusetts.
- Women Veterans’ Network (WVN) —The WVN is the central resource for women veterans in Massachusetts. Throughout the year, the network hosts events, provides information on federal, state, and local veterans’ benefits, and sends out a biannual newsletter for female veterans.
- Conference for Women Veterans — Each June, the WVN hosts the free one-day Massachusetts Conference for Women Veterans, which includes keynote speakers, workshops, and a luncheon.
- Women Veterans’ Housing — There are various housing programs, including therapeutic residential programs, that help female veterans who are homeless, in danger of becoming homeless, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or struggling with drug addiction.
- Women’s Integrated Treatment and Recovery Program — This treatment program supports women veterans who have PTSD and a substance use disorder (SUD) through specialized services tailored to individual needs.
Women’s Advocacy in the Commonwealth
Several groups in the Commonwealth are working to ensure that women’s voices are heard and that they can access competitive professional opportunities.
- Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) — The MCSW works to provide an effective public forum in the Commonwealth by holding public hearings for women to voice their concerns, creating county and regional women’s commissions to report on the status of women and girls, and advising executive and legislative bodies on the effects of legislation on women. The MCSW, regional commissions, and attendees from the across the Commonwealth come together annually at Women’s Advocacy Day to share these findings and advocate for legislation that advances the rights and opportunities of women.
- Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) — The SDO certifies organizations as Women Business Enterprises (WBE) and Minority and Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE) through the State Certification Program, which enables them to participate in affirmative business opportunities throughout the Commonwealth.
Through these services and programs, Massachusetts aims to support women across the state.
Comment below or tweet @MassGov with any questions about women’s services in Massachusetts.
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