Brooklyn Dems celebrate International Women’s Day

Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn.
Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn.
Office of Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte

The Brooklyn Democratic Party on Wednesday celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD), a globally-recognized holiday that occurs annually on March 8 during Women’s History Month.

IWD celebrates the incredible achievements of women and recognizes the continued fight for women’s rights and equality, as they continue to shape the world and break barriers.

“Today, on International Women’s Day — and every day — the Brooklyn Democratic Party joins the world in celebrating women’s incredible achievements, while also continuing our unyielding fight for gender equality in Brooklyn and beyond,” said Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, the party’s first woman — and Black Caribbean woman – county leader.

“As we recognize the achievements of bold women blazing a trail today and past women pioneers, International Women’s Day is a time to reassert our continued commitment to combating the discrimination and inequalities women still face,” added Bichotte Hermelyn, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn. “Women not too far long ago lacked fundamental rights to vote and own property, and we cannot let our monumental progress go backward.

“With Roe v Wade being overturned and many on the far-right hellbent on stripping away women’s essential healthcare choices, we join Brooklynites and women worldwide to reaffirm our unrelenting fight to level the playing field as we keep shattering glass ceilings and breaking barriers,” continued the State Assembly Majority Whip and chair of the Assembly’s Task Force on Women’s Issues,

Bichotte Hermelyn recognized a host of women district leaders: Jennifer Faucher – AD 41; Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn – AD 42; Sarana Purcell – AD 43; Lori Citron Knipel – AD 44; Margarita Kagan – AD 45; Dionne Brown-Jordan – AD 46; Nancy Tong – AD 47; Ida Klein – AD 48; Victoria Kelly – AD 49; Dana Rachlin – AD 50; Jacqui Painter – AD 51; Lydia Bella Green – AD 52; Maritza Davila – AD 53; Arleny Alvarado-McCalla – AD 54; Darlene Mealy – AD 55; Kenesha Traynham-Cooper – AD 56; Shaquana Boykin – AD 57; Mercedes Narcisse – AD 58; Roxanne J. Persaud – AD 59; Nikki Lucas – AD 60; Mariya Y. Markh – AD 61.

The Brooklyn Democratic Party chair said the party is focused on “uniting every corner of Brooklyn for our common goals to uplift all Brooklynites, and a core focus is advocating for women’s issues.

“Today, and every day, we celebrate our women district leaders and women leaders in every avenue throughout Brooklyn who in the face of adversity, serve as vital community liaisons, defending Brooklynites from discrimination, advocating for women, and uniting our diverse communities for progress,” she said. “Thank you for your continued dedication to leveling the playing field for all.”

Bichotte Hermelyn also celebrated global women political pioneers for international women’s day.

Marga Klompé, Netherlands

Klompé was a scientist, politician, and champion of the underprivileged who became the Netherlands’ first female minister. She was active in the Dutch resistance during World War II, became a member of the Dutch Parliament in 1948, and was one of the negotiators of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia

In 2005, Sirleaf beat out a slate of male candidates in Liberia’s first presidential election since its Civil War’s end, winning support from nearly 80 percent of women voters to become Africa’s first democratically elected female head of state.

Over her 12 years in power, Sirleaf helped preserve peace, and build up Liberia’s economy–she earned a Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work on behalf of women’s rights.

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Iceland

With her election as president of Iceland in 1980, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir became the first elected female head of state in the world.

She was re-elected three times and retired in 1996. Since then, Finnbogadóttir has served as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for world languages.

Unity Dow, Botswana

As Botswana’s first female High Court judge, Unity Dow has fought both domestically and internationally for women’s rights and human rights.

Dow grew up in a traditional rural village and after she earned a law degree in 1983, After her graduation, Dow opened the first all-woman law firm in Botswana.

Simone Veil, France

Veil was a Holocaust survivor and the first female president of the European Parliament. As a health minister, she is best remembered for advancing women’s rights in France, in particular for the 1975 law that legalized abortion.

Julia Gidard, Australia

Gillard is the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s prime minister or deputy prime minister; serving from 2010-2013.

In 2012, Gillard received worldwide attention for her speech in parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life.

In 2014, Gillard was appointed chair of the Global Partnership for Education, a leading organization dedicated to expanding access and quality education worldwide.

Michelle Bachelet, Chile

In 2006, Bachelet became the first woman president of Chile. Although highly popular, Bachelet left office in 2010, because she was constitutionally barred from serving a consecutive term, and she became head of the newly established UN Women. In 2013 she was elected to a second term as president of Chile.

Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan

An outspoken advocate of Taiwanese independence, Ing-wen campaigned for the presidency in 2016 and won despite widespread doubts.

She is regarded as one of the region’s most transformational leaders; turning it into a beacon for gender equality in Asia, and overseeing one of the most effective responses to the pandemic.

“We don’t have to look very far back in time to see when women lacked fundamental rights, such as the ability to vote, own property or choose if and when to get married.,” Bichotte Hermelyn said. “While we have made great progress to be celebrated, today we are still fighting similar battles. Women, especially women of color, remain significantly underrepresented in leadership and in the C-suite, while we still haven’t closed the gender pay gap.

“Meanwhile, women, especially Black women, face systematic racism and gender biases, and across the board, far too many women’s health concerns are overlooked or ignored at a grave cost,” she added. “As we honor women blazing a new trail and commemorate our past pioneers who’ve made such significant progress, we must also keep recognizing these adversities we’ve overcome and continue to face.

“I join women across the globe to reaffirm our unrelenting fight to level the playing field as we keep shattering glass ceilings and breaking barriers,” Bichotte Hermelyn continued.