National Women's Hall of Fame welcomes newest members

The class included House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and the late former First Lady Betty Ford.
Seneca Falls (WSYR-TV/ABC News) - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and the late former first lady Betty Ford were among nine inductees honored today at the 24th Women's Hall of Fame ceremony, hosted in Seneca Falls, New York, where the nation's first known women's rights convention was held in 1848.

Pelosi, was honored for her role in "breaking the marble ceiling" of the capitol as the first female speaker in the House of Representatives.

After inviting colleagues and fellow congresswomen onto stage to accept her award with her, Pelosi, 73, said it was important to increase the level of participation of women in politics.

"Incrementalism is not working for us. It's nice to keep adding numbers, but we want more," she said. "We have to make our own environment.

"If you reduce the role of money in politics, and increase the role of civility in politics, you elect many more women to public office," Pelosi added. "That is something that will be very wholesome to our country."

Pelosi recognized her colleagues' contributions and roles in passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Affordable Care Act, joking that "Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing medical condition."

Former Secretary of State and 2005 Hall inductee, Hillary Clinton, congratulated this year's inductees in a video message, paying special respects to former first lady Betty Ford whom Clinton described as "truly a great American and an inspiration."

The new inductees join 247 other women that have been honored since the Hall was founded in 1969.

The new members included:
  • Former first lady Betty Ford
  • Ina May Gaskin, professional midwife
  • Julie Krone, jockey
  • Kate Millett, feminist activist
  • Nancy Pelosi, House democratic leader
  • Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, Maryknoll Sisters founder
  • Bernice Resnick Sandler, Title IX advocate
  • Anna Jacobson Schwartz, research economist
  • Emma Hart Willard, education advocate

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