The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Friday, November 03, 2017

Women's Listening Tour Report

Voices of Maryland Women Listening Tour Report

The Voices of Maryland Women Listening Tour traveled to Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, the heart of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. There, thirty-four individuals gathered to discuss the concerns of women in this region. The public forum was organized as a partnership between the State Senator Addie Eckardt and the Maryland Commission for Women.

The attendees at the forum included individuals, representatives of women’s and community organizations, service providers and public officials including the Mayor of Cambridge Victoria Jackson-Stanley and State’s Attorney for Talbot County, Mr. Scott G. Patterson. Representatives of both U.S. Senator Cardin and Van Hollen were also in attendance.The participants articulately identified a wide range of issues and challenges for the women of this region which includes Kent, Caroline, Queen Anne’s, Talbot and Dorchester Counties that encompasses small, historic cities and towns, popular resort and tourist attractions, along with large agricultural and seafood industry areas.

The evening began with welcoming remarks by Senator Eckardt who noted that currently there are no active county Commissions for Women in the Upper or Mid-Shore area, unlike other counties on the western side of the bay. She and the participants agreed that one outcome of this program might be to consider how Commissions for Women could be established in this region to focus on the issues addressed at the forum. The event then opened into a discussion of the challenges facing women on the Eastern Shore. The participants listed a total of 35 challenges and each participant was given five “votes” to place beside the issues she or he considered most important. From that process, five were selected as the top priorities. The group identified actions that could be taken to address each of the “top five” issues:
  1. Lack of Public Transportation
    1. Reevaluate transportation funding
    2. Build more flexibility into the system; take advantage of technology to create an effiecient on-demand public transportation
    3. Develop new models of public transportation that work in rural areas rather than employing models based on urban needs
  2. Threats to Affordable Health Care
    1. Maintain affordable health care for Marylanders
    2. Develop incentives for provider trainng to increase the number of health care professionals in the region
    3. Develop career ladders within the health care professions so that employees can advance from entry level to higher positions through experience and training
  3. Mental Health/Addictions: Drugs, Alcohol, and Gambling
    1. Establish prevention programs through education
    2. Reevaluate sentencing guidelines for offenders
    3. Provide more and better mental health care services
    4. Expand rehab services for pregnant women and affencted newborns and for women with children
    5. Establish recovery centers using the Oxford House model of self-run, self-supported recovery houses
  4. Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Harassment
    1. Offer programs that teach healthy and safe relationships, starting in elementary school
    2. Establish more shelters and transitional housing for victims
    3. Provide peer-support gprograms for victims in the court system
    4. Redefine domestic violence, sexual assault, and harassment as a men's issue and not just a women's issue: discuss the number of perpetrators, not just the number of victims
  5. Special Challenges for Immigrant Women
    1. Provide access to qualified, legitimate legal services, targeted "pop-up" legal clincs in the community
    2. Encourage the community to embrace its diversity and provide peer-support, family-to-family
    3. Provide cultural sensitivity and responsiveness training to service providers and law enforcement
To view the full report, consisting of a total of 35 issues, please visit the Maryland Commission for Women website at and if you were unable to attend and still want to voice your concerns, please take the survey at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These are the purveyors of strife, liberalism and victimhood under the guise of community while wasting tax payer $