Women’s Initiative and Worcester’s Legacy of Leading on Women’s Rights

Celebrating International Women's Day 2018

Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we like to think that Lucy Stone would be a proud member of the Women’s Initiative. Ms. Stone was the first Massachusetts woman to earn a college degree. She fought against domestic violence and for women’s access to education, and helped to organize the first national women’s rights convention right here in Worcester.

Across our country and around the world, determined women are coming together like never before, as characterized by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Together, we are seizing this special moment and mobilizing for transformative change.

Locally, the Women’s Initiative—a program of the United Way of Central Massachusetts—is where women come together to help push the powerful wave of change. We are educating, taking action, and funding programs that empower and improve the lives of girls through mentoring, educational opportunity, and financial literacy.

The Women’s Initiative is part of Worcester’s long, proud history of leading the way on women’s rights. A history that includes abolitionist Abby Kelley Foster; Dorothea Dix, who fought for reform in the treatment of mental illness; humanitarian and Red Cross-founder Clara Barton; entrepreneur Esther Howland; Pulitzer prize-winning author Esther Forbes; and Frances Perkins who, in 1933, became secretary of labor and the first woman appointed to the cabinet of the U.S. president.

As members of the Women’s Initiative, we are part of this great legacy. Join us and donate, advocate, or volunteer for one of our programs that provide girls with the skills and knowledge they need to grow into confident and independent women.

In particular, we hope you will join us at Power of the Purse on Tuesday, June 12—an evening of camaraderie and solidarity, where every dollar we raise will support Women’s Initiative programs to help end violence against young women.

Want to take meaningful action on International Women’s Day? Join us in the Women’s Initiative as we raise our voices and fight for the rights and safety of young girls, and celebrate the extraordinary role of women in our community, our country, and around the world.