New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new Girl Scouts patch celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage in New York. Women in New York gained the right to vote in 1917, three years before the 19th amendment granted suffrage to women across the U.S. The patch program is a partnership between Girl Scouts councils and the New York State Women’s Suffrage Commission, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. All seven Girl Scouts councils in New York, including NYPENN Pathways, will participate in the patch program, giving girls across the state an engaging way to learn about the history of the women’s movement in New York and envision how they can lead for justice.
“From the birth of the women’s suffrage movement with the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 to the strongest in-the-nation paid family leave and the Women’s Equality Act, New York has remained on the forefront of the battle for women’s rights and gender equality,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new patch is a great opportunity for girls across New York to learn about the importance of the fight for women’s suffrage as they become the next generation to lead the movement for equality and justice for all.”
Lieutenant Governor Hochul was joined by representatives from the seven New York Girl Scouts councils and Girl Scouts from across the state at a ceremony on March 27, held at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. Representatives from NYPENN were present , including NYPENN Girl Scouts (pictured with Lieutenant Governor Hochul in above photo, L-R) Brook Tester and Nicole Smith from Troop 10047, Juliette/IRM Ally Wilde, and Juliette/IRM Juliana Buonfiglio. The girls are residents of Manlius, N.Y.
“This year marks a great opportunity to celebrate women’s accomplishments and contributions to our history, including fighting for the right to vote,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “The women’s suffrage Girl Scouts Patch is the next step in the Girl Scouts’ history of advocacy and empowerment on behalf of girls and women, and I look forward to joining with these girls throughout the coming year to learn and share about women’s equality. The patch is a key part of the Women’s Suffrage Commission’s work to inspire the next generation of young women who want to rise up and achieve great things themselves.”
The patch program, developed by the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, asks New York Girl Scouts to think about what justice means to them, how the Women’s Rights Movement is a part of their lives today, and encourages them to make advocacy a part of their lives. They must learn the names of key suffragette leaders and the definition of civil disobedience, visit (virtually or in person) key sites in the women’s rights movement, create a suffrage banner, and play games popular for girls 100 years ago, among other things.
The seven New York Girl Scouts Councils participating in the patch program are:
- Girl Scouts Council of Greater New York, Inc.
- Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Inc.
- Girl Scouts of Nassau County, Inc.
- Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, Inc.
- Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, Inc.
- Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, Inc.
- Girl Scouts of Western New York
Julie Dale, CEO of Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, Inc., said, “The first convention on women’s rights was held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, an historic town in our council. These pioneering women were audacious and remind us that all people must be accepted as equal. As modern Girl Scouts, we continue their mission and guide girls to become leaders who have the courage and conviction to stand for what they believe in. It is only fitting that we celebrate these early women who recognized the importance of coming together and shared their voices to win the right to vote.”
The Women’s Suffrage Commission, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, is organizing statewide programs to commemorate women’s suffrage between 2017, 100 years from when women won the right to vote in New York State, and 2020, which will be a century after the 19th Amendment was ratified. The Commission’s programs will celebrate the accomplishment of women’s suffrage and the central role of New Yorkers and New York State in this milestone, while also helping shape the future to ensure a more just and equitable society for all. To get involved, visit www.ny.gov/suffrage.