Women in Politics in New York State

The suffrage movement’s struggle for equality started officially on the two-days Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 in New York (today it is the place of the Women’s Hall of Fame).
Many of the movement leaders were from New York, among them are Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Charlotte Wilbour, Alva Belmont, and Carry Chapman Catt.

On November 6th, 1917, New York State was the first east of the Mississippi River to approve women’s right to vote, three years before the 19th amendment was ratified to the US constitution.

Still, on the notion of political representation there is much to keep doing, because up until now New York City never had a female mayor, nor there was ever a female governor in the state, the overall gender pay gap is $9,500 (based on AAUW 2017 data), and NY license and recognize same-sex marriages only in June 2011.

The first women to be elected to the New York State Assembly in 1919 were the suffragist Ida Sammis and the lawyer Mary Lilly, who was elected from New York county and was the first woman to practice law in New York.
The first woman who was elected to the New York Senate in 1934 was Rhoda Fox Graves after serving 10 years in the New York State Assembly.

In 2019, 69 women serve in both the New York Assembly and the Senate.

At the national level the first women who made history and represented New York in the federal institutes were, Ruth Pratt, the first female elected to the US House in 1929, and in 1968 Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American woman to be elected to the House.

Only in 2001 a female senator represented New York, Hillary Clinton, it was in the 107th US Congress, and she served for 8 years till she resigned to become the US Secretary of State. Kirsten Gillibrand appointed after Clinton and was reelected for several more terms.

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