Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the 2013 Women's Equality exhibit. The exhibit highlights the struggle for economic equality that women have faced since the 1820s to the 1980s. The Governor toured the exhibit with members of the New York State Women's Equality coalition. The display, located in the War Room, is part of an ongoing initiative to create museum quality exhibits for public viewing at the State Capitol.
"New York's women have always been trailblazers in the pursuit of equality and justice in our nation," said Governor Cuomo. "As the birth place of the women's rights movement in 1848, it is important that we continue that tradition by working toward achieving women's equality in all areas of our society. Through organizing efforts, governmental action or shattering glass ceilings in professions historically dominated by men, the women featured in this exhibit represent the very best of our State's tradition of national leadership in advancing equality and economic justice. I encourage all New Yorkers to visit this exhibit at the Capitol and share in the recognition of these extraordinary women."
The exhibit outlines the challenges women workers have faced since the early days of the Industrial Revolution, through the Civil War, to the Depression and World War II, and ending in the 20th century. Events from each period, like the first garment workers strike in New York City, the licensing of the nation's first female doctor and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, will give visitors a context for the evolution of struggle for workplace equality.
In addition to brief descriptions of each period, the exhibit will also feature biographies of some of the influential women who helped shape the fight for equality in their times. The biographies and descriptions will be complemented by a display of artifacts that pertain to the exhibit's theme.
Women featured in the exhibit:
Lavinia Wright, co-leader of the first garment workers' strike
Louise Mitchell, co-leader of the first garment workers' strike
Jane Hunt, Seneca Falls Convention organizer
Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, only woman to earn a Congressional Medal of Honor
Belva Ann Lockwood, pioneering female attorney and political activist
Rose Schneiderman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory workers' advocate
Belle Moskowitz, social reform activist and advisor to Governor Al Smith
Frances Perkins, first female member of the U.S. Cabinet, served as Secretary of Labor under Presidents Roosevelt and Truman
Eleanor Roosevelt, influential First Lady and Human Rights activist
Pauline Newman, organizer of the women's labor movement in New York
Kate Mullaney, founder of the Collar Laundry Union in Troy, New York
Luisa Moreno, immigrant workers' rights advocate
Mary McLeod Bethune, African American community rights activist
Sample of artifacts featured in the exhibit:
Sewing machine from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire
ERA ratification propaganda
Letter from Clara Barton
Original copy of the 1848 Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments
U.S. Navy WAVES uniform
First women's property rights law in New York