Nancy Pelosi Takes the Gavel, Makes Feminist History

Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made history yesterday when she became the first ever woman Speaker of the House. After a roll call on the floor of the House of Representatives, the new 110th Congress elected Pelosi, an Italian-American feminist and grandmother of six, as their Speaker. As Pelosi took the Speaker’s gavel for the first time, she announced, “I accept this gavel in the spirit of partnership, not partisanship.”

Throughout the many speeches and events celebrating her new role, Speaker Pelosi, a self-identified feminist, emphasized the importance of her win for American women and working mothers. In her speech before Congress, Pelosi said, “It’s an historic moment for the women of America. It is a moment for which we have waited over 200 years. Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights. But women weren’t just waiting. Women were working. Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and our granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling. For our daughters and our granddaughters now, the sky is the limit,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal said of Speaker Pelosi’s win, “Feminists everywhere are celebrating. She gives hope to the dream of equality being realized in our lifetime.”

LEARN MORE Get a sneak peek of the Winter 2007 issue of Ms., which features an exclusive interview cover story on Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Look for this issue of Ms. on newsstands January 16!

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Chicago Tribune 1/5/07; AP 1/5/07; ABC News 1/4/07

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