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Women in Leadership / Legal Status


The Topical Committee on Women in Leadership/Legal Status focuses on legal issues and legal standing of women.  One of the major events this committee is charged with is the planning of the Kate Barnard Luncheon and Award Ceremony.   Adopting a proposal from Commissioner Linda Edmondson, the OCSW created the Kate Barnard Award in 1998 to honor outstanding women in public service in Oklahoma.  Nominees are from the ranks of elected or appointed salaried public officials in Oklahoma.

In 1907, Kate Barnard, a native of Oklahoma, became the first woman to win a statewide elected office in the United States.  She held the office of Commissioner of Charities and Corrections for two terms.  She was a key figure in the enactment of a compulsory education law providing for state payments to widows dependent on their children’s earnings, of legislation implementing the constitutional ban on child labor, and of laws aimed at unsafe working conditions.


Previous recipients of the Kate Barnard Award include U.S. Federal Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange, State Senator Penny Williams, State Senator Angela Monson, Congresswoman Mary Fallin, Lieutenant  Governor Jari Askins, Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland, and most recently, Judge April Sellers White.

Last Modified on 11/15/2009