By: Imani Browne
As we continue to enjoy Women’s History Month today, RLS Media would like to highlight a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Margaret Roukema.
Born in Newsrk in 1929, Roukema’s first job in public service was as a member of the Board of Education in the Ridgewood School District. She later became president and in 1977, she was also the first woman elected as president of the Ridgewood Republican Club.
Roukema was also a member of both the Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs. In addition to this, according to Rowan University and the New Jersey Historical Commission, Roukema contributed to the Education Reform as well as the Employer-Employee Relations subcommittees of Education and Workforce.
Roukema is most renowned for her assistance in enacting the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1933. This enforced large companies’ requirement to provide extended unpaid leave for disabled workers, new parents, and those caring for chronically ill relatives.
Rowan University and the New Jersey Historical Commission report that despite being a Republican, Roukema is also known for being willing to vote with Democrats in regards to social issues like abortion rights.
INFORMATION/IMAGE CREDIT: Rowan University and the New Jersey Historical Commission