From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011
Entrant: Cheryl Bartlett
Nominee: Therese Murray, Massachusetts Senate President
I am nominating the Senate President for her strong leadership and support for issues and concerns that impact the lives of women across the Commonwealth. She has been a role model and mentor for women as a single parent who raised her daughter on her own and at the same time worked hard to develop the skills and experience to facilitate her rise to be the first woman senate president in Massachusetts.
She continues to help woman acquire the confidence they need to seek to improve themselves and is a constant source of encouragement for women she encounters in both her personal and professional lives.
She has hired and appointed women to staff and leadership positions within the senate and legislature, and she has provided internships and guidance to many women to help provide opportunities for individual growth. She stood up in the senate as a young, new senator and fought to give equal access to women legislators, for example there was no bathroom in the senate chamber for her and her female colleagues and she persuaded the leadership to provide equal access.
She promotes successful women to her male colleagues and business associates for positions of leadership in organizations dominated by men and is relentless with her advocacy for women from all walks of life.
At Christmas she hosts a party that raises funds for homeless children and throughout the year she attends endless charity events contributing both her time and money to support the many nonprofits that make a difference in the lives of women and children. In her free time she has worked in Russia to improve public health and the social conditions that increase risks for chronic health conditions.
Despite her jammed packed schedule she maintains a large and close circle of female friends who she generously gives time to listen to their concerns and to offer support however she can to make a positive difference in their lives. As one of those friends it is quite humbling to observe her level of commitment to many important causes, especially those that prioritize the issues of most importance to women wherever she goes.