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Historic Women's Rights Convention celebrated in Seneca Falls

Spectrum News / WXXI News
A women's skydiving team part of the events to mark the Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls on Saturday.

This weekend marked the annual Convention Days in Seneca Falls, which highlights the Women’s Rights Convention held in that community in 1848.

But with COVID-19, most of this year’s activities had to be handled online. There was a significant outdoor event on Saturday. Four women, who are part of a professional skydiving team, landed near the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

This year also marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which helped women secure the right to vote. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be speaking about the significance of those events later this month in an online forum at the Chautauqua Institution.

She said that with the added stresses caused by the pandemic on families, it’s important to take stock of women’s rights.

"So that takes us back 172 years ago where we think about and reflect upon and ask the question, have women’s lives really improved all that much compared to where men have been throughout this time in history,” said Hochul, who is the highest-ranked woman in state government,

She said there has been progress since the Women’s Rights convention over a century ago, but there is still a lot of work to do.

“We’ve come a long way, but we still don’t have an Equal Rights Amendment, we still have incredible disparity in pay, and even the burden of the weight of families falls disproportionately on women. So this has been a fascinating time to reflect on that history in the context of where we are today,” Hochul said.

Hochul is particularly concerned about the need for additional childcare options for families. She said that takes on added significance this year if schools do not return to a full schedule of in-classroom instruction.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's Director of News and Public Affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.