Tuesday, September 16

Women in Politics: 51% of the Population, 16% Elected

In one of those silly season, you-gotta-be-kidding-me moments, some of Hillary Clinton's primary supporters are convinced that they need to send a message to the Democratic party because they feel dissed for Clinton neither being the party's choice and for a raw deal for women in the party generally.

I have a hard time imagining what the message will be if these dissidents help elect the person who is likely to replace up to three Supreme Court justices with strict "Constitutionalists", who will likely make reproductive choice even more difficult to maintain, who has no record of supporting worker's rights (women or men) and whose running mate made rape victims pay for their own investigations.

If this is the road to parity you seek, Sisters, you can have it.

But, if the argument is that there should be more women in elected office past the state level, I support this. After all, Iowa is one of three states (Mississippi and Vermont being the others), that has never sent a qualified woman to Congress--though the same can be said for African-Americans and Native-Americans too. But, if you want to look at party politics, in 2008, there are 75 women (out of 315)holding statewide elective office: 45 are Democrats, 27 are Republicans and 3 are non-partisan. There are 5 women Democrats and 3 Republicans who are governors.

In the bigger picture, women are highly under-represented. Women hold 87, or 16.3%, of the 535 seats in the 110th US Congress
— 16, or 16.0%, of the 100 seats in the Senate
- 71, or 16.3%, of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives.
In addition, three women serve as Delegates to the House from Guam, the Virgin Islands and Washington, DC.

Among the parties, women outnumber men in the Democratic party and men outnumber women in the Republican party. In 2004, D's were 39% women and 31% men, R's were 28% omen and 30% men--the source doesn't say what the other odd percentage were

If people want something constructive to do, organize and support women running for public office--although you might want to support the one's that will support you.

1 comment:

Anne McCrady said...

Electing women is important at every level, but when it comes to national politics, we need leaders of any gender who support women's interests--families, education, healthcare, global wisdom, environmental science. Let's vote to make sure those issues are upheld; then let's work to elect more women who share our vision!