Standing On The Shoulders Of Suffragettes, Today’s Female Lawmakers Fight For Women’s Rights

One sticking point among both conservative and liberal women has been the importance of policies supporting the family.

Rep. Joan Ballweg, R-Markesan, said she thinks policies to help families -- such as suicide prevention, foster care support and mental health initiatives -- are the "nexus" of women's issues.

Baldwin said women still take on a greater share of the responsibility for child-rearing, which leaves them behind in terms of equal opportunities because the work world is not designed for that. She said the shortage of child care, especially in the western part of Wisconsin, needs to be addressed.

When it comes to issues that impact the family and children, Rodriguez said she has been able to work with women across the aisle, including Taylor. In a bill Rodriguez wrote about child placement, Taylor was the first to sign on as a co-sponsor.

One thing all of the women agreed on was the need for more female representation in state and national legislatures.

As she works to find solutions to problems facing women today, Sargent hopes her efforts will resonate with women in the future, just as the suffragettes have with her.

"I am really thankful for, and quite frankly I can't even imagine, the mountains that those women had to climb in order to allow me to be here today," Sargent said. "But I very much also realize that I am doing work now that will afford women and girls in the future to be able to march forward."

Female firsts: Political milestones for women in Wisconsin 1925: Three women -- Mildred Barber, Helen Brooks and Helen Thompson -- elected to Assembly. 1975: Kathryn Morrison becomes first female state senator. 1976: Shirley Abrahamson appointed and later elected as first woman to serve on Wisconsin Supreme Court. In 1996 she became the first female Supreme Court Chief Justice. 1977: Marcia P. Coggs becomes first African American woman to serve in the Assembly. 1978: Vel Phillips becomes the first African American woman elected to statewide office as secretary of state. 1985: Susan Engeleiter chosen as first female Senate minority leader. 1992: Gwen Moore becomes first African American woman elected to the state Senate. 1998: Tammy Baldwin elected as first Wisconsin woman to Congress (and in 2012 as first Wisconsin woman to the U.S. Senate). 2001: Margaret Farrow becomes first female lieutenant governor. 2002: Barbara Lawton is first woman elected lieutenant governor and Peg Lautenschlager is first woman elected attorney general. 2003: Mary Panzer selected as first female Senate majority leader. 2010: Jocasta Zamarripa becomes first Latina elected to Assembly. 2014: Pat Strachota selected as first female Assembly majority leader. 2015: Mary Lazich elected as the first female Senate president.

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *