Beyond Suffrage

A Century of New York Women in Politics

Through August 5, 2018

Women's March sign by Rene Lynch, 2017.

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Discover a century of women’s political activism in New York City.

Beyond Suffrage: A Century of New York Women in Politics traces women’s political activism in New York City from the struggle to win the vote, through the 20th century, and into our own times. Beginning with the long battle for women’s voting rights that culminated in 1917 statewide and 1920 nationally, the exhibition highlights women at the center of New York’s politics over the course of 100 years. It features a diverse range of activists both familiar and lesser known, the battles they fought, and the many issues they championed.

The exhibition examines how women navigated New York politics in the 1920s through 1940s, often working behind the scenes for causes like health, labor, and good government; the central role of New York in the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and its redefining of women’s roles in politics and government; and continued campaigns for women’s political power and grassroots mobilizations that demand equal gender rights today.

Beyond Suffrage features rare artifacts, documents, garments, photographs, and audio-visual materials spanning more than a century that show how women have been politicized—and in turn changed politics—in New York and beyond.

Poster by Rene Lynch. Museum of the City of New York, 2017.27.1b


Cast Your Vote!

In 1917, New York reformed its electoral rules by giving women the right to vote. Today, with voting turnout low, some are calling for changes to voting rules to bring more people to the polls. Each month, Beyond Suffrage will highlight a different proposal to change voting rules.
This month, we are asking visitors to weigh in on same-day voter registration. New York requires voters to register at least 25 days before elections. But 15 states and the District of Columbia allow voters to register on Election Day. Supporters of same-day registration argue that this increases the number of voters and helps voters whose names have been dropped from the rolls. Opponents say that same-day registration is too complicated and encourages unprepared voting.
Visit Beyond Suffrage to cast your vote! And stay tuned for next month’s question.
Learn more about how New Yorkers have voted in recent elections by gender and by neighborhood, and proposals to increase voter participation and elect more women to office in New York.


Gloria Steinem (Chair)
Liz J. Abzug
Carol Bellamy
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer
Ellen Chesler
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke
Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton
Jacqueline Ebanks
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Betsy Gotbaum
NYS Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul
Elizabeth Holtzman
Public Advocate Tish James
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney
Sarah Maslin Nir
Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker, New York City Council
First Lady Chirlane McCray
Congresswoman Grace Meng
Ruth Messinger
Kate Millett
Robin Morgan
Rosemonde Pierre-Louis
Dorothy Pitman Hughes
Congresswoman Kathleen Rice
Reshma Saujani
Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik
Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Democratic Conference Leader
Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez
Faye Wattleton
Bonnie Wong


Beyond Suffrage: A Century of New York Women in Politics is made possible in part by The Puffin Foundation, Ltd.; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Derald H. Ruttenberg Foundation in honor of Susan Henshaw Jones; Time Warner Inc.; Loreen Arbus; Shawn and Brook Byers; an Anonymous donor; Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker, New York City Council; Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; Barbara Lee Family Foundation; Cynthia Manocherian; Elizabeth Sackler Foundation; William E. Weiss Foundation/Daryl Brown Uber; Diane and Adam Max; Patricia A. M. Riley; Betsy and Andrew Fippinger; Jerry H. Goldfeder; Loreen Arbus; Martha and Alex Wallau; Senator Diane J. Savino; Ms. Alexandra Stanton / Empire Global Ventures; Min Sun Kim; Hon. Leslie A. Stroth; Helen K. Morik; and Cathy Raphael.

Committee to Celebrate Women in New York


Loreen Arbus

Shawn and Brook Byers




Daryl Brown Uber

Cynthia Manocherian



Patricia A. M. Riley 

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