Mye Owens Syracuse, NY (NCC News)
Progress for gender equality and women empowerment is clearly seen as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement. To celebrate the occasion, Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a Women and Girls Council to New York. The Councils mission is to take in account the experiences of women and girls when drafting policies for the state.
Although the Council appears to be a big win for women and girls within the state, women like Chandler Dewgard, of Syracuse, wonder if the Council will make a difference in policies. When asked, she responded saying, “I would hope so, but I don’t think it will change that much. I mean when you look at the different policies in terms of equal pay, that doesn’t happen and women still get paid less.”
Miles Franklyn agrees with Dewgard, but is optimistic that the Council will make changes, saying, “I think the Council has the potential to be a good thing, it all depends on what they are doing.”
Some Central New Yorkers believe years later, gender equality is a major issue within New York. For Dewgard, gender equality hits home for her saying, “From personal experiences I have experienced sexism.” Students Simone Ayers and Jael Jones believe gender equality is a issue everywhere. When asked if she believed gender equality is still an issue, she answered, “In general I feel like it’s getting better but it’s not where it should be.” Ayers continues, “There is obviously still gender disparately, because if they think that they have to separately include women and girls in a separate council then there is obviously still a problem.”
The Council is lead by Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s secretary and top aide. The Council, will focus on nine areas of impact: education, economic opportunity, workforce equity, leadership, health care, child care, safety, STEM, and internationalization.