The Women Legislators of Maryland was founded in 1972 when Delegate Pauline Menes was offered a position as Chair of the Bathroom Committee and given a fur-lined toilet seat by Speaker Lowe to mark the “momentous” occasion. Del. Menes used the opportunity of the offensive joke to utilize the power given to Chairpersons of Committees to advocate for leadership positions for women.
Past President and current Member of the Executive Board Senator Nancy King, in the President’s Message on the Women Legislators of Maryland’s website writes, “I look forward to working with all of our members to ensure that women’s issues are a priority of the entire General Assembly.” She goes on to write, “ Over the years, the caucus has led efforts to pass legislation to give women the resources they need to achieve an exceptional education, advance in the workplace, take care of their families and enjoy a positive quality of life in our state. We have led the fight to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking and move toward greater parity in juvenile services for girls.”
The Executive Board of the Women Legislators of Maryland continues a legacy of brilliant, innovative and passionate women, and will remain committed to the cause of the founders to develop and support legislation assisting women; to encourage greater participation of women in Maryland government, and to communicate with other organizations about the issues facing women and their families. The next 50 years await a bold path to progress.