October 13, 2013

National Women’s Hall of Fame inducts Nancy Pelosi, 8 others

The nation’s first female House speaker is also the first woman to lead a major U.S. political party.

The Associated Press

SENECA FALLS, N.Y. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, late former first lady Betty Ford and Title IX advocate Bernice Sandler are among the nine women inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame on Saturday.

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Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is among the nine women inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame on Saturday.

2012 File photo/The Associated Press

The ceremony was held in Seneca Falls, the western New York village where the first known women’s rights convention was held in 1848.

“I’m absolutely thrilled. I can’t believe it,” Pelosi said by phone from Washington before the ceremony. Several of her female congressional colleagues, along with two of her daughters and two granddaughters, attended.

Also honored were “Sexual Politics” author Kate Millett; horse racing’s most successful female jockey, Julie Krone; Ina May Gaskin, who is known as the “mother of authentic midwifery;” and monetary scholar Anna Jacobson Schwartz, who collaborated with Nobel laureate Milton Friedman on “A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960,” published in 1963. She died last year.

The inductees also included the late Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, who in 1912 founded Mary- knoll Sisters, the first U.S.-based Catholic missionary congregation of religious women, and 19th-century educator Emma Hart Willard, who advocated for equal education for women in higher education in the early 1800s.

“The 2013 inductees again represent the spirit of Seneca Falls and the groundbreaking events that inspired the nation and the world,” Beverly Ryder, co-president of the board of directors, said in announcing the inductees this year.

Pelosi, of California, was recognized for more than 25 years in politics and as the nation’s first female House speaker and the first woman to lead a major U.S. political party. This year she launched a women-based agenda on the 165th anniversary of the Seneca Falls convention, advocating for equal pay for women, paid family leave and affordable child care, which she said is the biggest missing piece to the fulfillment of women’s potential.

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