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Local lawmakers celebrate achievements of women in government on International Women's Day

Women in the Texas Legislature as well as the Austin City Council gathered to celebrate their service on Wednesday with a resolution and proclamation.

AUSTIN, Texas — Lawmakers in the Texas House recognized International Women’s Day on Wednesday with a resolution celebrating the achievements of women in local government.

Currently, there are more women than ever before in the Legislature.

State Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) said women have made a lot of progress, but the work is not done.

"My staff have recounted to me stories of their own experiences and how they differ from those of their male counterparts. For too long, the Capitol was considered a man's world and a good ole boy's club. But that's changing," Howard said.

Meanwhile, at Austin City Hall, Councilmember Alison Alter, Assistant City Manager Veronica Briseño and the women of the Austin City Council also marked International Women’s Day, Equal Pay Day and Women’s History Month.

More than 150 attendees – including representatives from Austin’s state legislative delegation, the Travis County Commissioners Court, Austin ISD, Austin Community College and the judiciary – joined the female council majority and Briseño for a ceremony in council chambers, followed by a luncheon.

“My colleagues and I wanted to express our gratitude to the women who keep each branch of our local government running,” Alter said. “We have female majorities on all major elected bodies in Travis County, as well as hardworking, innovative women breaking barriers in our State Legislature, our City departments, our school board, our community colleges and our local courts. Our goal was to bring these women together to celebrate their service.”

After remarks from Alter, Briseño and State Sen. Sarah Eckhardt, Mayor Pro Tem Paige Ellis and Councilmembers Alter, Vanessa Fuentes, Mackenzie Kelly and Leslie Pool declared March 8 as International Women’s Day, March 14 as Equal Pay Day and March of 2023 as Women’s History Month with a proclamation.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the 60th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act and the 60th anniversary of the release of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women’s report.

“These anniversaries present opportunities to reflect on the challenges we have overcome together,” Alter said. “While we have a lot to celebrate, this is also a call to redouble our efforts to advance gender equity in our community.”

International Women's Day started in 1911 when more than a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland campaigned for women's rights, including the rights to vote and hold public office.

Video of the proclamation and remarks can be found on ATXN.

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