STATE HOUSE — Highlighting the smart, driven women of Rhode
Island, Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence) and
Rep. Teresa A. Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) proudly hosted
a state celebration of the United Nations-recognized International Women’s Day.
This year, the General Assembly honored Chief Tina Goncalves
of the Pawtucket Police Department. Chief Goncalves is the first female
municipal police chief in Rhode Island. This year’s theme for the annual
event is “Press for Progress.”
“Today we gather, and we join in solidarity with others
throughout the world to recognize outstanding achievement by women and to
demand full equality politically, economically and socially. International
Women's Day is a day for us to join hands with our sisters and brothers, here
and abroad, to recognize our collective plight but also to laud our
accomplishments,” said Senator Nesselbush.
“Recent events have brought a long-overdue wave of public
discussion about what women deserve, what we should not have to endure and how
much work still lies ahead of us to create a world in which our daughters and
granddaughters might someday be paid equally, treated fairly and will not face
undue obstacles in advancing at work and in the world. And that’s why we
will continue to gather here every year on March 8, not just to trumpet the many
great accomplishments of women, but to remind ourselves that the struggle is by
no means over,” said Representative Tanzi.
An all-female police honor guard escorted Chief Goncalves
and dignitaries into the State Room. Following the ceremony, the honorees went
to the Senate floor for the reading of a Senate resolution in honor of
International Women’s Day and then to the House of Representatives for the
International Women’s Day is a day to reflect on the
achievements of women and the fight for gender equality. It is also a day for
acknowledging the strides the world has taken in advancing women’s rights,
freedoms and protections, but, said Senator Nesselbush “it is also time to
acknowledge that we have a long way to go.” The United Nations has recognized
and celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 since 1975.