Kentucky Commission On Women Reaches 50 Year Milestone

Mar 18, 2014

Women leaders gathered at the Capitol Tuesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kentucky Commission on Women.

A portrait of Marie Caldwell Humphries was unveiled as part of the ceremony.
A portrait of Marie Caldwell Humphries was unveiled as part of the ceremony.

"It has been a ride and I hope I have encouraged women to make the most of their abilities," Marie Caldwell Humphries said to a standing ovation. The Commission's first official chair in the late 1960s was among the women celebrated at the event in the Capitol rotunda.

Kentucky’s commission was established in 1964 as state-level counterpart to President John F. Kennedy’s national commission on the status of women.

Linda Breathitt, daughter of then-Kentucky Governor Edward Breathitt, said the commission’s first report contained some suggestions that still sound familiar in 2014: "Legislation should be enacted to ensure that men and women receive equal pay for work requiring equal qualifications. A concerted effort should be made to place qualified women in professional policymaking posts at all levels..."

The ceremony was attended by Gov. Steve Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear, and a long list of lawmakers and women's rights advocates.

Toyota also announced a $100,000 grant for a Kentucky Women Remembered feature length documentary that will trace the stories of up to 30 important female contributors to Kentucky’s history.