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Clinton Nomination Comes Nearly 100 Years after Women Won Right to Vote

Deborah Hughes, executive director, Susan B. Anthony House
Deborah Hughes, executive director, Susan B. Anthony House

Some say because Hillary Clinton has been a political figure for decades, it's not that big of a deal that her name will appear on the top of the Democratic ticket in November.

But Deborah Hughes, executive director of the Susan B. Anthony House and Museum in Rochester, couldn't disagree more. "It's a huge deal. It's something we've been waiting for, for almost 100 years."        

Actually, 96 years this August, since the 19th amendment was ratified, ending the suffrage movement Anthony led, and giving women the right to vote.

Hughes says Anthony's fellow suffragist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, predicted it would be 100 years before some of the changes the early leaders of the women's rights movement wanted to see would come to fruition.  She says there are still issues that were important in the early 20th century that need our attention.

“In this country we have more women and children trapped in poverty than we ever have. What does that mean and how do we become a nation where we don’t have such huge disparities in wealth and disparities in opportunity?”

Hughes says young women may not think a female president would be significant, and she says that's a good thing, “In that there are a lot of people younger than my age bracket who don't understand why it would be a big deal for a woman to be elected president because they have not encountered the kind of barriers that have shot through their dreams as they were growing up."

Hughes is in Philadelphia  where she will attend an Equalitea at the Democratic National Convention this  afternoon. It's gathering of female Congressional candidates and feminists to celebrate Clinton's nomination.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.