Representative Christine P. Barber of Somerville and Medford has been named to the Board of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators. The 191st state legislative session is historic for the bicameral and bipartisan Women’s Caucus, with a record number of women in the legislature. The House of Representatives welcomed 12 women among its 23 new legislators, and 3 of the 5 newly-elected Senators are women. Female legislators now comprise 28.5 percent of the Massachusetts legislature, up from the previous record of 26%.
“I am honored to be serving on the Board of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators in this historic year,” Barber said. “Though much work remains to be done to ensure equality, the Caucus and its members are making significant contributions to the policy work on key issues before our legislature. I am looking forward to working with women legislators in the House and Senate to continue the impressive work of the Caucus.”
Representative Barber is co-chair with Rep. Kay Khan of a task force within the Caucus that focuses on supports and resources for Justice-Involved Women. Other taskforces within the Caucus address sexual assault and pre-term birth and maternal health. Representative Barber is also spearheading a review of the Caucus bylaws, to ensure that they are inclusive and effective.
Representative Barber has several legislative priorities this term focused on women’s economic and social equality, including: making comprehensive sexual harassment training mandatory for employers; requiring domestic violence prevention training for salon professionals; establishing pay parity for child care providers; allowing child support to be paid directly to families receiving public assistance; and requiring public schools, prisons, and homeless shelters to provide free menstrual products.