Paying Tribute To Trailblazers During Women’s History Month

By Senator Patty Ritchie
Every March, people across our country come together to celebrate “Women’s History Month,” a time to recognize the contributions of women to American society.

The United States began officially observing Women’s History Month in 1987, and since that time it has served as a way to celebrate the role of women who through their achievements have changed our country for the better.

In addition to celebrating Women’s History Month, this year marks the 100th anniversary of New York State signing women’s suffrage into law, three years before the United States passed the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

This important milestone occurred nearly 70 years after New York State hosted the first-ever Women’s Rights Convention, held in 1848 and spearheaded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.

This month and throughout this special 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York, we celebrate their efforts with events, exhibits and more.

Among the special commemorations are tours taking place at the State Capitol that feature artifacts showcasing the journey of suffragists on their road to earning the right to vote.

For more information on tours, visit

Noting the achievements of women isn’t something that should take place one month out of the year.

As state senator, I’ve been working in a number of ways to highlight the ways women are changing our region, our state and our world.

In 2015, I was proud to form the Upstate Women’s Leadership Council alongside other local leaders from throughout Central and Northern New York.

Our most recent event, “Ladies Who Lead,” included a panel discussion with trailblazers including SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher as well as mentoring and networking opportunities.

In addition, through my annual “Women of Distinction” program, women from throughout Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties are honored for the important work they do in their communities.

And, as a member of the New York State Legislature’s bipartisan Women’s Caucus, I’m working alongside my colleagues to improve the participation of women in government, supporting issues affecting women across the state and providing a network of support for women serving in the State Legislature.

From achievements in medicine, science, business and more to contributions that have shaped our culture and made our world a better place, the impact of women on society has been tremendous, and will continue to be for many years to come.

For information on those being remembered and celebrated during Women’s History Month, as well as details on special events taking place, be sure to visit my website at