JOHNSTOWN — While city of Johnstown Mayor Amy Praught proclaimed Friday to be Women’s Equality Day, she said much more needs to be done in the fight for women’s rights.
“I’m all about women’s rights and I believe, in the climate that we live in today, us women need to stick together and make sure our rights are protected,” Praught said.
The proclamation follows suit with the national trend, which commemorates the 1920 adoption of the 19th Amendment, which says that a person’s right to vote cannot be prohibited based on their sex.
The day holds extra special meaning in Johnstown where Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a leader in the U.S. women’s rights movement during the 19th century, was born.
The event was originally intended to take place at the statue of Stanton, but due to weather the proclamation was signed in the mayor’s office. Following the signing of the proclamation, Praught was presented with a memento for her office by the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association, a nonprofit that works to continue the legacy of Stanton in the community.
Praught said the memento is sort of a hook rug that was given to the association by Stanton’s great-great-granddaughter.
“I’m going to hang it on the wall in my office,” Praught said.
The mayor is only the second woman to be elected Johnstown mayor. She reflected Friday on the fact that there are more women in government and politics today than there has ever been.
“Women have come a long way since the 1920s when we were given the right to vote,” she said. “However, there’s still a lot more we need to do and, as you can see from the climate we live in, women are starting to rally and come together and will probably be the most important vote that we have in this country in the upcoming elections.”
Praught said the Stanton association is going to frame the proclamation and hang it in the Sunflower Shoppe, a donation-based clothing store run by the association.
Nancy Brown, president of the association, could not be reached for comment.
Gov. Kathy Hochul also recognized the day with a proclamation and announcement that all state assets were to be lit in purple and gold. She also announced that she would have the state Department of Labor study the effect that the pandemic has had on women in the workforce with a focus on the “multi-layered gender wage gap,” according to a press release.
“As New York State’s first female Governor, I hope to send a message to women and girls across the world that they can be anything they want to be,” Hochul said in the release. “In highlighting the struggles women have faced throughout the pandemic, we are taking an important step toward ensuring equality in the workforce and beyond. Today, we are ensuring the future we leave for our daughters and granddaughters is an even brighter, fairer one than was left to us.”