Frances Perkins: “I was horrified at the work that many women and children had to do”

Frances Perkins

“From the time I was in college I was horrified at the work that many women and children had to do in factories. There were absolutely no effective laws that regulated the number of hours they were permitted to work. There were no provisions which guarded their health nor adequately looked after their compensation in case of injury. Those things seemed very wrong. I was young and was inspired with the idea of reforming, or at least doing what I could, to help change those abuses.”
– Frances Perkins
Frances was the first woman to serve in the U.S. cabinet when she became Secretary of Labor in 1933.
In her role, she helped push the policies of a forty-hour work week, a minimum wage, worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation, a federal law banning child labor, direct federal aid for unemployment relief, Social Security, and a revitalized public employment service.

Mary Edwards Walker quote about women in uniform

Mary Edwards Walker

“Let the generations know that women in uniform also guaranteed their freedom.”

– Mary Edwards Walker, Medal of Honor recipient.

Mary was a doctor before the Civil War broke out in the U.S. She tried to join the Union Army as a surgeon when the war started, but was only offered the opportunity to be a nurse because of her gender. She declined and instead joined as a civilian volunteer to be a surgeon. In 1863, she became a War Department surgeon, a paid position.