In the 167 years since Seneca Falls, how far have women come?

Sculpture group by Lloyd Lillie depicting 20 Seneca Falls convention attendees including Mary Ann and Thomas McClintock, Lucretia and James Mott, Jane and Richard Hunt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass, Martha Wright and 11 anonymous participants representing men and women who attended the convention but did not sign the declaration One hundred and sixty-seven years ago, on July 19 and 20, 1848, in Seneca Falls, New York, the first Women’s Rights Convention in the United States was held: An estimated three hundred women and men attended the Convention, including Lucretia Mott and Frederick Douglass. At the conclusion, 68 women and 32 men signed the Declaration of Sentiments drafted by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the M’Clintock family. My great grandmothers were alive then. Two of them were free and white, and two of them were black and enslaved in Virginia. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about and researching my grandmothers in slavery, but in recent years I’ve also learned more about the plight and status of those women who were not fettered, but were still un-free, constrained by a society and legal system that treated them as dependents, with no guaranteed rights to own property, to vote, to control their own bodies or even their own children. Follow me below to discuss those demands for women’s rights, and where we are today.


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