March is National Women’s History Month. Working to Form a More Perfect Union, the 2016 National Women’s History Month theme, presents the opportunity to honor women who have shaped America’s history and its future through their public service and government leadership.
Let’s also not forget women’s contributions to the labor movement. Women have played numerous roles to organize, unionize, rally, document, and inspire workers—both men and women, children and adults, citizens and immigrants—to fight for justice. From championing better workplace conditions to cutting back the 12-hour day to demanding equal pay across racial lines, here are just a few of the women who have contributed to the labor movement.
At SEIU 521, we have a Women’s Caucus who represents union women empowering our community.
Click here to learn more and get involved!
Each of these public leaders (pictured above and listed below) succeeded against great odds. The tenacity of each Honoree underlines the fact that women from all cultural backgrounds in all levels of public service and government are essential in the continuing work of forming a more perfect union.
Photo above, top row, left to right:
Sister Mary Madonna Ashton
(1923 – present) Public health leader and first woman Commissioner of Health in Minnesota.
Nadine Smith (1965 – Present)
LGBT civil rights activist & Executive Director of Equality Florida.
Dorothy C. Stratton (1899 – 2006)
WWII Director of the SPARS (Coast Guard women’s reserve) & Executive Director of the Girl Scouts of America.
Bernice Sandler (1928 – Present)
Women’s rights activist, known as the “Godmother of Title IX.”
Karen Narasaki (1958 – Present)
Civil & human rights leader, Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Nancy Grace Roman (1925 – Present)
Created a space astronomy program at NASA, known as the “Mother of Hubble.”
Judy Hart (1941 – Present)
National Park Founding Superintendent of Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park and Women’s Rights National Historical Park.
Isabel Gonzalez (1882- 1971)
Champion of Puerto Ricans securing American citizenship.
Bottom row, left to right:
Sonia Pressman Fuentes (1928 – Present)
National Organization for Women co-founder and first woman attorney at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission General Council’s Office.
Oveta Culp Hobby (1905 – 1995)
WWII Director of the Women’s Army Corps & first secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
Barbara Mikulski (1936 – Present)
Senator from Maryland and longest serving woman in the U.S. Congress.
Betty Mae Tiger Jumper (1923 – 2001)
First woman Chief of the Seminole Tribe and presidential advisor.
Inez Milholland Boissevain (1886 – 1916)
Women’s Suffrage leader and martyr.
Daisy Lee Gatson Bates (1914 – 1999)
Civil rights organizer & leader of the Little Rock school integration.
Ella Tambussi Grasso (1919 -1981)
Governor of Connecticut, first woman U.S. governor elected in her own right.
Suzan Shown Harjo (1945 – Present)
Native American public policy advocate and journalist.