#IDAHOWOMEN100 Celebrating women in government at State Archives exhibit

Posted at 2:33 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 19:32:37-05

BOISE — Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin and Representative Megan Blanksma celebrated The Idaho State Archives' centennial celebrations for women's suffrage. Their celebrations take form as an exhibition on women in government,

"All four of Idaho's political parties embraced a suffrage plank as part of their platform," said state historian HannaLore Hein.

The history on these walls continues to affect how our government operates today.

"They passed legislation, they drafted bills, just like their male counterparts," said Hein.

Idaho was ahead of the curve on women's suffrage, adding a state constitutional amendment 24 years before the nineteenth amendment passed, giving women the right to vote.

"I think we forget how long ago people were really truly active in their government and took a lot of work to get the vote and it is really inspiring to see the women who did the work because I think arguably, at this point in time, those of us who are younger, we need to learn to appreciate how difficult that was," said Blanksma.

Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin is the first woman in our state's history elected to the position, but the women serving in other roles before her time helped pave the way.

"I did see the bumper sticker in there the woman that ran for lieutenant governor, Hope, her last name was Hope, it was fun to see her slogan 'Hope for Idaho,'" said McGeachin.

Some things, like drafting and passing bills, haven't changed all too much.

"We've really preserved how we did things when women first came into the legislature, and I think that's an interesting thing that I wasn't really expecting to see today," said Blanksma.

The work these women walls accomplished stretches far past this set of walls take a trip to the statehouse, and you'll see the statue of George Washington on the fourth floor that Clara Campbell's legislation helped preserve.

"So inspiring to actually be in this room and see the photographs of all the women that have come before us and help lead our state," said McGeachin.

For the next three months, this exhibit is open to the public. In the spring, a feature on women artists is coming. 6 On Your Side will share a story about the trailblazing women in Idaho every month to celebrate 100 years of women's suffrage.