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3/8/2013 State House celebrates accomplishments of Rhode Island’s leading ladies in government
STATE HOUSE – In honor of International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence) hosted a celebratory event at the State House on Thursday, spotlighting the leading ladies in each of the three branches of government.

From the executive branch, Nesselbush honored Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo. From the legislative branch, she honored President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed and Speaker Pro Tempore Elaine A. Coderre (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket). Nesselbush noted that the Rhode Island Judiciary is a bastion of "girl power," as she lauded Supreme Court Associate Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg, Superior Court Presiding Justice Alice B. Gibney, Family Court Chief Judge Haiganush R. Bedrosian and District Court Chief Judge Jeanne E. Lafazia. All were honored at a State Room ceremony Thursday at the State House.

“Women have come so far in this world, but there is much more to be done,” Senator Nesselbush said. “On Thursday, I had the opportunity to showcase some of Rhode Island’s leading ladies, some of the most intelligent and capable leaders in all three branches of state government. These are women who have made sacrifices and worked hard to obtain their positions in what is still a male-dominated arena. We owe these women and the women who came before them an enormous debt of gratitude, for in their accomplishment lies our promise. No woman ever stands taller than when she stops to help another woman."

The official theme this year for IWD is “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women.”

“We join today in solidarity with women all across the globe to demonstrate our tireless commitment to end violence against women, here at home and globally,” Senator Nesselbush said. "Globalism is upon us and the world has gotten much smaller, especially with today's social media and communications. Today we see the reality of our sisters in other countries like never before. In 2012, we saw a woman in India raped, literally to death on a public bus, and there are parts of the world where women still die in childbirth, where girls are abandoned in favor of boys, sold off into marriage or – worse yet – sexual slavery.”

The senator said that while all of us continue our work here for equality, dignity and human rights, "we must support our sisters in the hope that the next wave of feminism embraces Africa, Asia, Afghanistan and the Arab world.”

The United Nations has recognized and celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 since 1975, though the origin of the day can be traced back to March 19, 1911 when women in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland officially commemorated the occasion. Among the countries that celebrate IWD as a public holiday are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

For more information, contact:
Brenna McCabe, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2457