(BOSTON – 04/07/2022) The Massachusetts State Senate unanimously passed S.2802, An Act relative to the creation of a women’s rights history trail. The legislation celebrates the rich history of the women’s rights movement and contributions women have made across the Commonwealth.
Each year, thousands of tourists visit Boston to walk the Freedom Trail, to learn about the founding of our nation and walk in the history of our founding fathers. This legislation would allow residents and visitors alike to follow a similar trail to learn about the women who have made our Commonwealth, and nation, what it is today. By attracting tourists to women’s rights history trail sites, this bill will also help to stimulate economic activity throughout Massachusetts.
This legislation creates a 16-member task force responsible for soliciting public input and conducting research to recommend sites, properties, and attractions that are historically and thematically associated with the struggle for women’s rights and women’s suffrage, and that reflect Massachusetts’ geographic and demographic diversity. The Senate bill also requires the inclusion of accomplishments of women veterans in the trail, as well as recommendations for increasing the representation of women in the artwork of the State House. Members of the task force would include representatives from the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Commission on the Status of Women, and the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, among others.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and the Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism will be required to develop a program based on the task force’s recommendations, including educational handbooks, maps, signs, and vacation itineraries connected to the trail. The task force will have until January 1, 2023, to file its report.