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Commission for Women


Montgomery County Women's History Archive:

Women of Historical Significance in Montgomery County

Women's History Project
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Clara Barton

Senator Jennie Forehand

Senator Jennie Forehand announced her retirement effective January 2015, after more than 35 years in the Maryland legislature. She served in the Maryland House of Delegates between 1978 and 1994, and then in the Senate 1995 -2015. During this three and a half decades, she has been an ardent supporter of women and of legislation that supports women and families.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Senator Forehand attended the University of North Carolina, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Relations. A businesswoman, she founded Forehand Antiques and Interiors and has worked as a teacher, juvenile court probation counselor, and statistician. She and her husband raised two children in Rockville, sending them through  Montgomery County Public Schools.

Early in her legislative career, Senator Forehand took the lead on such issues as domestic violence, day care access, family leave, child support, reproductive freedom and greater representation of women in the Judiciary, issues that are sometimes taken for granted now. Her efforts won her recognition as a "Trailblazer" from the Women's Bar Association and earned her recognition and inclusion in the Daily
Record’s Circle of Excellence – meaning that she was honored as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women three times.

Senator Forehand is past president of the Women's Legislative Network of the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL) and past president of the Women Legislators of Maryland.