Around New England

New Women’s Rights History Trail Will Help Boost Massachusetts Economy Through Tourism, State Legislator Says

September 18, 2023

Creating a Women’s Rights History Trail will help increase tourism in Massachusetts, a state legislator said.

In May 2022, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill creating a Women’s Rights History Trail Task Force to come up with a “program … designating properties and sites that are historically and thematically associated with the struggle for women’s rights and women’s suffrage.”

The bill directs the executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism – known as MOTT on Beacon Hill, the state agency that promotes Massachusetts as a travel destination – to “develop vacation itineraries based on the Women’s Rights History Trail program.”

The task force ought to highlight the “economic development” opportunities of women’s rights history sites in Massachusetts, said state Representative Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury), a member of the task force and the House chairman of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators.

“Because as much as we want to acknowledge the role of women, which is incredibly important, the reason it’s tied to MOTT is that we also want to make sure that, you know, we’re using it from an economic development perspective and having people think about the Commonwealth as a whole and our entire impact on women’s rights and women’s suffrage …” Kane said during the task force meeting June 29 (at 36:30 of the video).

The task force plans to hold listening sessions at various places around the state to take suggestions for women’s rights history sites. The current plan is to hold meetings in Boston, west of Boston, central Massachusetts, and western Massachusetts.

“We were hoping to also get one in the Salem area, actually, but October may not be the best time to have a listening session in Salem, per se,” said state Representative Mindy Daub (D-Amherst), co-chairman of the task force, during the task force meeting Tuesday, September 12 (at 7:51 of the video).

Salem is awash with Halloween and witchery revelers during the entire month of October, because of the city’s association with the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.


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