CREATING WOMEN’S RIGHTS HISTORY TRAIL PROGRAM

By Bob Katzen

The House and Senate approved and sent to Gov. Baker a bill that would require the state to develop and implement a Women’s Rights History Trail Program. The measure includes requiring the state to designate properties and sites that are historically and thematically associated with the struggle for women’s rights and women’s suffrage.

Another provision provides that the state promotes education and awareness of the struggle for women’s rights in the state. A 13-member Women’s Rights History Trail Task Force would be formed to research, solicit public input and make recommendations for sites, properties and attractions to be included in the trail.

“Women have played a pivotal role in shaping the policies of our commonwealth, and this bill will ensure that those contributions are known and celebrated,” said Senate sponsor Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem). The history of Massachusetts’ women is our history, and we must continue to make that history known.”

“The many women from our commonwealth who contributed to the fabric of our nation, who held an integral role in shaping and advancing American democracy, and who courageously led the Women’s Suffrage movement, are central figures in our commonwealth’s narrative,” said House sponsor Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury). “With so many notable women and historic sites connected to these women here in our commonwealth, we have a unique opportunity to celebrate and tell their stories by encouraging and promoting tourism and dispersing the economic gains by crafting an inclusive, geographically and historically diverse trail that is promoted broadly.”

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