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Celebrating Women's Equality




  • Public School quilt makers honored at City Hall during Women’s History Month.
			From the Commission on the Status of Women 1987-89
  • Women Making History: Conversations with Fifteen New YorkersPublished in 1985 by the New York City Commission on the Status of Women, 'Women Making History' featured conversations with fifteen prominent New York City women such as Yolanda Sanchez, Geraldine Ferraro and Beverly Sills. From the City Hall Library Collection.
  • Constance Baker MotleyState Senator Constance Baker Motley being sworn is as Manhattan Borough President by Mayor Wagner, February 24, 1965. From the Robert F. Wagner Collection.
  • Mayor Beame swears in Eleanor Holmes Norton, Chair of Commission on Human RightsMayor Beame swears in Eleanor Holmes Norton as the Chair of Commission on Human Rights in 1974. Alongside her are Representative Shirley Chisholm and Mrs. Coretta Scott King. From the Abraham D. Beame Collection.
  • Bella Abzug and Mayor Koch issuing a proclamation for Women's Equality Day on August 20, 1980.  From the Edward I. Koch collection.
  • N.Y.C. Commission on the Status of WomenPhoto collage from the New York City Commission on the status of Women Annual Report: 1987-1989. From the City Hall Library Collection
  • A Century of Women in Policing 1890s-1980sPhoto of c1930s uniformed policewomen
  • Swearing-in of Probationary Policewomen at Court of Peace, World's FairIn June, 1940 a group of Probationary Policewomen take part in a swearing in ceremony at the Court of Peace during the 1939/40 New York City World's Fair. From the Municpal Archives Collection.
  • City Hospital Training School Nurses on deck of the School on Blackwell's IslandCity Hospital Training School nurses on the deck of the Training School on Blackwell’s Island, sit relaxing with the Queensborough Bridge in the background. From the Department of Public Charities and Hospitals Collection.
  • Telegram to Amelia Earhart from Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia on May 3rd 1935
  • Invitation from Mayor James J. Walker in honor of Miss Amelia Earhart, Mr. Wilmer Stultz, and Mr. Louis Gordon on the occasion of the the first trans-atlantic flight.Embossed mayoral invitation to a reception honoring Miss Amelia Earhart, Mr. Wilmer Stultz, and Mr. Louis Gordon held at City Hall Plaza on July 6, 1928. Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic during the Friendships' 20 hour, 40 minute flight on June 17-18, 1928. From the Municipal Archives Special Collection.
  • Welcoming Returning Troops, 1919
  • U.S. Dept. of Defense Recruiting Program for Women in the Armed ForcesFemale soldiers progress down Broadway to take part in a ticker tape parade celebrating Women in the Armed Forces on November 13, 1951. From the Mayors Reception Committee Collection.
  • Your War-Time Job, Your Peace-Time SecurityBrochure recruiting women to become nurses after WWII, 1945. From the Fiorello H. LaGuardia Collection.
  • Mrs. Oliver Harriman at the Food Kitchen Showing the Dehydrator and Examples of the WorkThe New York City Food Conservation Kitchen was opened by the Food Committee division of the Mayor's Committee of Women on National Defense in 1918. Here, Mrs. Oliver Harriman, Chairman of the committee, shows a group the usefullness of a food dehydrator. From the 1917-1919 Annual Report of the Mayor's Committee of Women on National Defense, from the City Hall Library Collection.
  • The Women's Guide: Management On & Off The JobIn 1977, the New York City Department of Air Resources published 'The Women's Guide: Management on & off the Job. Included was this chart illustrating the significant salary descrepancy between men and women. From the City Hall Library Collection.
  • Gender Integration in the Fire Department of the City of New YorkIn 1989, Columbia University helped to produce this report commissioned by the New York City's Fire Department on gender integration. The publication offered a review of the department and gave recommendations for improving the integration of women within the department. From the City Hall Library Collection.
  • Building Barriers: Discrimination in New York City's Construction TradesThe city's Commission on Human Rights put out this 432 page report on discrimination in the construction trades in 1993. The publication features topics such as personal accounts of women and minorities in construction, disparities in earnings and benefits and enforcement of employment non-discrimination laws. From the City Hall Library Collection.
  • P.S. 52 Manhattan, Mothers' Science ClassA teacher at P.S. 52 Manhattan dismantles a telephone in 1935 as female students look on. From the Municpal Archives Collection.
  • Preventing Sexual Harassment: A Fact Sheet for EmployeesThe Office of Equal Opportunity for The Board of Education, issued a fact sheet in 1999 for employees detailing definitions of sexual harassment, responsibilities for prevention, and a chronology of the development of Sexual Harassment Law. From the City Hall Library Collection.
  • Improving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Access to Healthcare at New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation FacilitiesIssued by the Public Advocate for the City of New York in 2008, 'Improving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Access to Healthcare at New York City' highlights public healthcare problems faced by the city's LGBT community and offers recommendations for improved access to public healthcare in the city. From the City Hall Library Collection.
  • Basketball Team, Municipal BuildingWomen's basketball team portrait taken in the New York City Municpal Building in 1922. From the Bridges, Plants and Structures Collection.
  • Mayor Edward I. Koch registering the first woman participant in the New York MarathonMayor Edward I. Koch registers the first woman participant in the New York City Marathon on July 11, 1978. From the Edward I. Koch Collection.
  • New York City Commission on the Status of Women, Annual Report 1987-1989The 1987-1989 Annual Report put out by the New York City Commission on the Status of Women included topics ranging from public education to legislative issues relating to women throughout the city. From the City Hall Library Collection.
  • Gypped by Gender, A study of price bias against women in the marketplaceGypped by Gender: A Study of Price Bias Against Women in the Marketplace' was the result of a study completed by the Department of Consumer Affairs in 1992. From the City Hall Library Collection.
  • Civilian Review Board CampaigningWhile campaigning in 1966 for the Civilan Review Board, two young women provide Spanish-language campaign leaflets to passersby. From the John V. Lindsay Collection.
  • Rape Prevention PamphletsRape Prevention pamphlets issued by the Manhattan Women's Political Caucus and a second pamphlet issued by the City's Police Department

The Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) manages the City’s dating from 1647 to the present. The Municipal Library and Archives document City government, including interactions of women and government.  The images here present our dynamic collections, ranging from report covers to photos of New York Police Department matrons, to statistics on the participation of women in the workplace.   Join us in celebrating Women’s Equality Day by sharing the images and offering feedback.

In 1971, at the behest of Bella Abzug, Congress declared August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The day commemorates the enactment of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote.  But even more, in 1971 the day honored the efforts of contemporary women activists who re-launched the fight for equality throughout society.  

In 2014, we continue to advocate gender equality. For example, women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, on average.   Women are often the primary caregivers in 70% of households. This struggle informs the work of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.  The administration’s programs such as comprehensive paid sick leave and universal pre-Kindergarten are major advances that will positively impact working women and families.  We celebrate these programs and continue to advance the fight for equity. 

It took 73 years to win the right to vote.  The effort began in Seneca Falls in 1848, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton first proposed suffrage for women, and concluded in 1920 when Tennessee became the final state ratifying the 19th amendment.  Thousands of activists wrote letters, held meetings, persuaded elected officials, went on hunger strikes, and participated in hundreds of marches before prevailing. 

Between Women’s Equality Day in 2014 and 2020, the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, DORIS will coordinate a multi-year series of events celebrating the empowerment of women in New York City.  Follow us to learn more.

Public School quilt makers honored at City Hall during Women’s History Month.Public School quilt makers honored at City Hall during Women’s History Month

From the Commission on the Status of Women 1987-89

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Women Making History: Conversations with Fifteen New YorkersWomen Making History: Conversations with Fifteen New Yorkers

Published in 1985 by the New York City Commission on the Status of Women, 'Women Making History' featured conversations with fifteen prominent New York City women such as Yolanda Sanchez, Geraldine Ferraro and Beverly Sills. From the City Hall Library Collection.

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Constance Baker MotleyConstance Baker Motley

State Senator Constance Baker Motley being sworn is as Manhattan Borough President by Mayor Wagner, February 24, 1965. From the Robert F. Wagner Collection.

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Mayor Beame swears in Eleanor Holmes Norton, Chair of Commission on Human RightsMayor Beame swears in Eleanor Holmes Norton, Chair of Commission on Human Rights

Mayor Beame swears in Eleanor Holmes Norton as the Chair of Commission on Human Rights in 1974. Alongside her are Representative Shirley Chisholm and Mrs. Coretta Scott King. From the Abraham D. Beame Collection.

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Bella Abzug and Mayor Koch issuing a proclamation for Women's Equality Day on August 20, 1980.  From the Edward I. Koch collection.	Bella Abzug and Mayor Koch issuing a proclamation for Women's Equality Day on August 20, 1980. From the Edward I. Koch collection.

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N.Y.C. Commission on the Status of WomenN.Y.C. Commission on the Status of Women

Photo collage from the New York City Commission on the status of Women Annual Report: 1987-1989. From the City Hall Library Collection

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A Century of Women in Policing 1890s-1980sA Century of Women in Policing 1890s-1980s

Photo of c1930s uniformed policewomen

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Swearing-in of Probationary Policewomen at Court of Peace, World's FairSwearing-in of Probationary Policewomen at Court of Peace, World's Fair

In June, 1940 a group of Probationary Policewomen take part in a swearing in ceremony at the Court of Peace during the 1939/40 New York City World's Fair. From the Municpal Archives Collection.

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City Hospital Training School Nurses on deck of the School on Blackwell's IslandCity Hospital Training School Nurses on deck of the School on Blackwell's Island

City Hospital Training School nurses on the deck of the Training School on Blackwell’s Island, sit relaxing with the Queensborough Bridge in the background. From the Department of Public Charities and Hospitals Collection.

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Telegram to Amelia Earhart from Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia on May 3rd 1935Telegram to Amelia Earhart from Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia on May 3rd 1935

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Invitation from Mayor James J. Walker in honor of Miss Amelia Earhart, Mr. Wilmer Stultz, and Mr. Louis Gordon on the occasion of the the first trans-atlantic flight.Invitation from Mayor James J. Walker in honor of Miss Amelia Earhart, Mr. Wilmer Stultz, and Mr. Louis Gordon on the occasion of the the first trans-atlantic flight.

Embossed mayoral invitation to a reception honoring Miss Amelia Earhart, Mr. Wilmer Stultz, and Mr. Louis Gordon held at City Hall Plaza on July 6, 1928. Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic during the Friendships' 20 hour, 40 minute flight on June 17-18, 1928. From the Municipal Archives Special Collection.

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Welcoming Returning Troops, 1919Welcoming Returning Troops, 1919

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U.S. Dept. of Defense Recruiting Program for Women in the Armed ForcesU.S. Dept. of Defense Recruiting Program for Women in the Armed Forces

Female soldiers progress down Broadway to take part in a ticker tape parade celebrating Women in the Armed Forces on November 13, 1951. From the Mayors Reception Committee Collection.

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Your War-Time Job, Your Peace-Time SecurityYour War-Time Job, Your Peace-Time Security

Brochure recruiting women to become nurses after WWII, 1945. From the Fiorello H. LaGuardia Collection.

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Mrs. Oliver Harriman at the Food Kitchen Showing the Dehydrator and Examples of the WorkMrs. Oliver Harriman at the Food Kitchen Showing the Dehydrator and Examples of the Work

The New York City Food Conservation Kitchen was opened by the Food Committee division of the Mayor's Committee of Women on National Defense in 1918. Here, Mrs. Oliver Harriman, Chairman of the committee, shows a group the usefullness of a food dehydrator. From the 1917-1919 Annual Report of the Mayor's Committee of Women on National Defense, from the City Hall Library Collection.

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The Women's Guide: Management On & Off The JobThe Women's Guide: Management On & Off The Job

In 1977, the New York City Department of Air Resources published 'The Women's Guide: Management on & off the Job. Included was this chart illustrating the significant salary descrepancy between men and women. From the City Hall Library Collection.

Back to top

Gender Integration in the Fire Department of the City of New YorkGender Integration in the Fire Department of the City of New York

In 1989, Columbia University helped to produce this report commissioned by the New York City's Fire Department on gender integration. The publication offered a review of the department and gave recommendations for improving the integration of women within the department. From the City Hall Library Collection.

Back to top

Building Barriers: Discrimination in New York City's Construction TradesBuilding Barriers: Discrimination in New York City's Construction Trades

The city's Commission on Human Rights put out this 432 page report on discrimination in the construction trades in 1993. The publication features topics such as personal accounts of women and minorities in construction, disparities in earnings and benefits and enforcement of employment non-discrimination laws. From the City Hall Library Collection.

Back to top

P.S. 52 Manhattan, Mothers' Science ClassP.S. 52 Manhattan, Mothers' Science Class

A teacher at P.S. 52 Manhattan dismantles a telephone in 1935 as female students look on. From the Municpal Archives Collection.

Back to top

Preventing Sexual Harassment: A Fact Sheet for EmployeesPreventing Sexual Harassment: A Fact Sheet for Employees

The Office of Equal Opportunity for The Board of Education, issued a fact sheet in 1999 for employees detailing definitions of sexual harassment, responsibilities for prevention, and a chronology of the development of Sexual Harassment Law. From the City Hall Library Collection.

Back to top

Improving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Access to Healthcare at New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation FacilitiesImproving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Access to Healthcare at New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation Facilities

Issued by the Public Advocate for the City of New York in 2008, 'Improving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Access to Healthcare at New York City' highlights public healthcare problems faced by the city's LGBT community and offers recommendations for improved access to public healthcare in the city. From the City Hall Library Collection.

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Basketball Team, Municipal BuildingBasketball Team, Municipal Building

Women's basketball team portrait taken in the New York City Municpal Building in 1922. From the Bridges, Plants and Structures Collection.

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Mayor Edward I. Koch registering the first woman participant in the New York MarathonMayor Edward I. Koch registering the first woman participant in the New York Marathon

Mayor Edward I. Koch registers the first woman participant in the New York City Marathon on July 11, 1978. From the Edward I. Koch Collection.

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New York City Commission on the Status of Women, Annual Report 1987-1989New York City Commission on the Status of Women, Annual Report 1987-1989

The 1987-1989 Annual Report put out by the New York City Commission on the Status of Women included topics ranging from public education to legislative issues relating to women throughout the city. From the City Hall Library Collection.

Back to top

Gypped by Gender, A study of price bias against women in the marketplaceGypped by Gender, A study of price bias against women in the marketplace

Gypped by Gender: A Study of Price Bias Against Women in the Marketplace' was the result of a study completed by the Department of Consumer Affairs in 1992. From the City Hall Library Collection.

Back to top

Civilian Review Board CampaigningCivilian Review Board Campaigning

While campaigning in 1966 for the Civilan Review Board, two young women provide Spanish-language campaign leaflets to passersby. From the John V. Lindsay Collection.

Back to top

Rape Prevention PamphletsRape Prevention Pamphlets

Rape Prevention pamphlets issued by the Manhattan Women's Political Caucus and a second pamphlet issued by the City's Police Department