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The birthplace of pioneering women’s rights advocates Abigail Adams and Susan B. Anthony, humanitarian Clara Barton, and famed poet Emily Dickinson, Massachusetts has no shortage of women deserving of spirited celebration.

But while there are plenty of Commonwealth women in history who’ve made a difference to society, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW), the Supplier Diversity Office (SDO), the Department of Veterans’ Services (VET), and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS) support and honor contemporary women throughout the Commonwealth year-round through a number of events and programs.

Events Honoring Women in Massachusetts

Each year MCSW holds two events that highlight women’s accomplishments and the continuing effort to expand opportunities for women in Massachusetts:

  • Advocacy Day — On Advocacy Day, held on May 7, members of the public can speak with legislators and learn about the progress made on women’s issues over the past year.
  • Unsung Heroines of Massachusetts Celebration — At this June 17 gathering, unsung heroines, who have been nominated by state legislators, are honored for their exceptional efforts on behalf of a range of causes, from public health to homelessness to education.

Massachusetts Women’s Programs

  • State Certification Program Minority- and women-owned businesses are an important part of the Commonwealth’s economy. The state certification program, administered by SDO, enables companies operating in Massachusetts to become Women Business Enterprises (WBE) or Minority and Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE). Although they do not guarantee contract or bid awards, WBE and M/WBE SDO designations make companies more marketable to state executive agencies, which have guidelines regarding spending with certified businesses.
  • Women Veterans’ Network As the central resource for the Commonwealth’s female veterans, the Women Veterans’ Network, part of VET, provides information on housing and recovery programs, benefits, events, and support groups. The network also hosts an annual conference in June and Women Veterans’ Appreciation Day in November.
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program — WIC offers services and support to women from the time of their pregnancy to when their children are 5 years old. The program provides healthy food, nutritional consultations, medical care referrals, and workshops on a number of pregnancy and parenting topics.

Do you know any extraordinary women who’ve made a difference in their community? Share with us in the comments or tweet @MassGov.

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