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Cuomo Touts NY's Role in Fight For Women's Equality

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo touted the contributions of New York women in the fight for equality as he opened a new exhibition in the War Room of the State Capitol. 

“New York’s women have always been trailblazers in the pursuit of equality and justice in our nation,” Cuomo said. “As the birthplace 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.”

Cuomo is pushing a 10-point legislative agenda called the Women's Equality Act that looks to end pay discrimination, protect pregnancy leave, strengthen laws against human trafficking, enact a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment and — perhaps most controversially — take abortion out of the criminal code and make it part of the state's public health code. Supporters and detractors say it will take some stigma away from abortion. It is unclear how Cuomo will get the entire package through the Republican-controlled Senate but public relations will certainly be part of it. 

The exhibit in the capitol honors the following women:

· 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

The display includes: 
· 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

Cuomo delivers State of the State message in Staten Island. Photo from Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

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Guest Saturday, 13 February 2016