Frances Perkins, named secretary of labor in 1933, was the first woman in the cabinet, made up of the president’s top advisers.
During her twelve years in this job she helped write many major laws benefiting workers, including the Social Security Act.
One of several women who ran government aid programs during the Great Depression was Ellen Woodward, in charge of emergency relief for the more than 500,000 women who headed their households.
Ruth Owen in 1933 became the first U.S. woman envoy (much like an ambassador) to a foreign country (Denmark).
In 1934 Florence Allen was appointed as the first woman federal judge, on the court of appeals. In her autobiography she noted that one male judge was so upset he supposedly stayed in bed for two days.
The Chinese Women’s Patriotic Association protested the 1932 invasion of China by Japan as well as discrimination in the United States against Chinese Americans.