In honor of International Women’s Day, we wanted to share a few of the ways that we’re working to expand opportunities and promote equality for all.
- Promoting Equality in our Judicial System: Together, we appointed the first female judge on any court in Cecil, Washington and Somerset County. We appointed the first African-American woman judge ever to a Maryland appellate court and out of 90 new judicial appointees, 41% have been women. Altogether, we have appointed nearly 2,800 women to judgeships, cabinet appointments and boards and commissions since 2007.
- Expanding Business Opportunities: Together, we’ve increased awards of state contracts to women-owned firms by nearly 59% over 2007. Last year, we awarded $511 million to women-owned firms – the highest amount for women-owned firms on record with the MBE initiative.
- Protecting Women’s Health: Together, we expanded healthcare coverage to 310,000 Marylanders—including nearly 143,000 children. With this year’s budget, we’ll get that number up to 400,000. We supported a measure to improve access to the quality care provided by nurse practitioners. Our Statewide Family Planning Program serves over 75,000 women each year. And we’re making it our goal to expand Comprehensive Women’s Health Centers – which are serving over 1000 women per month – to every jurisdiction in Maryland.
- Combating Domestic Violence: Together, we have cracked down on domestic violence, taking guns out of the hands of abusers, strengthening protective orders, and adding more protections for victims of domestic violence. All of these initiatives move us closer to our goal of reducing violence against women and children 25% by the end of the year. Overall in Maryland, we’ve been able to drive violent crime down to a 30-year low.
If there is a thread that unites the story of our people, it is the thread of human dignity; the dignity of work; the dignity of family; the dignity of every child’s home; the dignity of every individual.
Let’s continue to move forward to ensure the dignity of all women today and tomorrow.