For Immediate Release - March 22, 2013

AG Coakley Highlights Women’s History Month at Series of Events this Week

Addresses Important Role of Women at Community Service Awards, Women in Government Reception and Women’s Leadership Forum

BOSTON – As part of Women’s History Month, Attorney General Martha Coakley is highlighting the ways Massachusetts led the battle for gender equality throughout history.

“Women’s History Month should be a time of reflection, but also to look forward,” AG Coakley said. “We all stand on the shoulders of the brave women who made such great sacrifices to earn the right to vote. Now, we have seen women make great strides to serve as leaders in business, the not-for-profit world, and government. We must all commit to continuing that progress.”

AG Coakley discussed Women’s History Month this week at the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce Mary Upton Ferrin 2013 Community Service Awards, the Ad Club’s Annual Women’s Leadership Forum and the New England Women in Real Estate (NEWiRE) Annual Women in Government Reception.

AG Coakley talked about the history of the suffrage movement in Massachusetts, the women who shaped it and the women forging new paths today. She noted that the efforts by Massachusetts to ensure equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people is part of this important legacy. AG Coakley also discussed the importance of women’s progress in the workplace across both public and private sectors, including equal pay and equal opportunity to fill leadership positions.

AG Coakley highlighted some notable Massachusetts women in history. She discussed Abigail Adams, wife of second President John Adams, as one of the earliest voices in America for equality and women’s rights. She spoke about Mary Upton Ferrin, who launched the suffrage movement in Massachusetts in 1848 and traveled 400 miles by foot collecting signatures to support the cause. AG Coakley also talked about Alice Paul, who represented the last generation of suffrage leaders and organized the first-ever pickets at the White House in 1914 and 1915. Paul and dozens of other women were imprisoned, went on a hunger strike, and were forcibly fed. However, their actions ultimately led to the passage of the 19th amendment.

The Mary Upton Ferrin Community Service Award was presented by the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce. The award honors women in the Peabody community who demonstrate leadership, serve as role models and champion humanitarian efforts. This year, the Chamber of Commerce presented the award to Maria Ferri, the vocational education director at Peabody High School.

The Ad Club Women’s Leadership Forum is an annual event for the advertising trade association, and each year it recognizes an inspirational group of women for their leadership qualities and accomplishments. The theme for this year’s forum was “Women We Admire.”

The NEWiRE Women in Government Reception is an annual event that has been held for the past 20 years to show support for women in government and provide an opportunity for networking between NEWiRE members and women in government.

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