December 8, 2016 - The WBA is thrilled that the Massachusetts Equal Pay Coalition, founded by the WBA and Mass NOW in 2014, was honored with the Be the Change Award at the 12th Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women which was held on December 8, 2016. Kristin Shirahama, WBA President, Jill Ashton, Chair of the Equal Pay Coalition and Director of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, Sasha Goodfriend, Co-President of Mass NOW, and Katie Donovan, Co-President of AAUW-MA, represented the Coalition in accepting the award.
"The WBA is a unique organization because it provides unparalleled opportunities for attorneys—young as well as more senior— to advance their careers and take on a leadership role. The WBA is committed to helping its members advance at any stage of their legal career by offering substantive programming and topical discussions on the latest developments in the legal community. By providing members numerous opportunities to learn from each other, whether through formal mentoring or informal partnerships, the WBA provides members the tools to overcome historical roadblocks to success, whether it is business development, law firm advancement, or through its Trial and Tips for women litigations, there is something for everyone."
The Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators presented the WBA with the Resolution Condemning the Practice of Female Genital Mutilation and All Forms of Gender Based Violence which had been passed by the Senate and the House on July 30, 2016. The WBA was honored by the Caucus for its advocacy on behalf of women, specifically those who have been victims of female genital mutilation.
The Women’s Bar Association signed on to an amicus brief in the case of Karen Partanen v. Julie Gallagher – supporting the position which would extend protections to non-married parents who used assisted reproductive technology to conceive a child. In its recent decision, the Supreme Judicial Court effectively rendered the Massachusetts paternity statute (MGL c. 209C) gender neutral by holding that parentage may be established so long as a non-married couple intended to create a child together and each of them outwardly represented themselves as the child’s parents. Congratulations to everyone – including Mary Bonauto, C. Thomas Brown, Patience Crozier and WBA members Elizabeth A. Roberts, Teresa Harkins La Vita, and Joyce Kaufmann representing the plaintiff - who worked on this case and helped extend protections to same sex couples and their children.