The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders has proclaimed March as Women’s History Month and is also taking the opportunity to celebrate women in public office.
In a related event, the county Commission on the Status of Women will honor 10 Outstanding Women in Somerset County at its March 8 awards dinner.
“We have many women in Somerset County doing amazing things every day,” said Freeholder Patricia Walsh, commission liaison. “It is most appropriate that during Women’s History Month, we take the time to publicly recognize them and say thank you. It’s also the perfect time to recognize the contributions of women in public office and to encourage more women to seek elected office at all levels of government.”
The Women’s History Month proclamation reflects the 2018 theme, “Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” The proclamation notes that:
- Women of every race, class and ethnic background have made historic contributions to the growth and strength of our nation in countless recorded and unrecorded ways.
- Women have played and continue to play critical economic, cultural and social roles in every sphere of the life of the nation by constituting a significant portion of the labor force, working inside and outside of the home as well as providing the majority of the country’s volunteer labor force.
- Women were particularly important in the establishment of early charitable, philanthropic and cultural institutions in the U.S. and served as early leaders in the forefront of every major progressive social change movement.
- Women have served our country courageously in the military.
- Women have been leaders, not only in securing their own rights of suffrage and equal opportunity, but also in the abolitionist movement, the emancipation movement, the industrial labor movement, the civil rights movement and other movements, especially the peace movement, which create a more fair and just society for all.
The related proclamation – an initiative of the National Foundation of Women Legislators to recognize and highlight women in public office – celebrates Women in Public Office Day, which is March 19. It notes that:
- Women play a critical role in the vitality and diversity of our communities and are essential to ensuring Somerset County is well-represented.
- While the 20th century was a pivotal time of growth for women entering politics, women remain underrepresented in male-dominated fields, and thus, providing opportunities to support women in public office is imperative.
- Recognizing women in public office will bring awareness to the fundamental necessity of their work and will inspire others to serve their communities.