GENESEO, N.Y., Aug. 26, 2022 — Today, August 26, 2022, Livingston County is proud to celebrate Women’s Equality Day. Introduced in 1971 by Rep. Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.), the holiday was approved by the United States Congress in 1973 to commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. Women’s Equality Day not only celebrates the Amendment’s passage, but also brings into focus the continuing efforts being made towards full equality for women.
Among the many local figures who advocated for women’s equality, Martha (Robinson) Almy (1850-1934) of Springwater is one of the most widely recognized figures from Livingston County after becoming a leader in the New York State Suffrage Association where she eventually chaired the State’s Suffragist Legislative Committee. An 1870 graduate of Genesee College in Lima, Almy continued her educational endeavors at Syracuse University where she received a Master’s degree in 1888. Almy would later run for School Commissioner of her district in Chautauqua County, and while she was defeated by the incumbent, her candidacy made news.
In 1897, Almy was appointed a State Deputy Factory Inspector where she received equal pay – one of the rare instances during that time period for a civil service position. The job entailed overseeing and advocating for the safety of women and children employed in factories and lobbying for adherence to child-labor laws at the time.
Almy, along with several other prominent women, not only shaped the history of Livingston County, but also played an integral role in shaping national policy. For more information about the many local women who helped to make Women’s Equality Day a reality, pick up a copy of “Women’s Biographical Review: Achievers, Leaders and Role Models” by the Livingston County Historian’s Office on Amazon.com or contact the County Historian’s Office at (585) 243-7955.
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About Livingston County:
Founded in 1821, Livingston County, N.Y., is comprised of more than 61,000 residents in 17 towns located across 631 square miles of the Finger Lakes region.