Women are answering the call: Elected Office
Since the Presidential election, followed by the success of the Women’s March – Axios recorded that organizations like Emily’s List and She Should Run, have reported an increase for women interested in running for elected office. In the last few months, there has been additional systematic attacks on the female experience and body. All across the country, women’s health and safety have been threaten by proposed legislation, led by mostly male (white) legislators. Who regardless of the health risk, often seek to limits the rights of what women can do with “their body”.
As documented by the Center for American Women and Politics -- in 2017, women hold 105, or 19.6%, of the 535 seats in the 114th U.S. Congress - 21, or 21.0%, of the 100 seats in the Senate and 84, or 19.3%, of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. This lack of representation persists despite the fact that women are more likely to vote than men and despite the fact that women are the majority of the US population (50.8%).
In many ways we can thank President Trump (The Trump Effect) for this increase, considering many women have referenced Trump as their motivation for throwing their hat into the race. Which isn’t surprising, considering Trump has a less than stellar reputation when it comes to women and women issues. Not to mention the fact that he has publicly admitted to sexual assaulting women, which only give support to the more than a dozen separate public accusations that have come forward during the election and after he took office.
Now sexual assault and harassment isn’t just an issue that’s unique to the President, there have been powerful men on both sides of the political aisle and across industries held accountability for past and present actions. That being said, there are thousands more who haven’t. More work is required to change the rape culture we live in, including electing more women to office and or just putting more women in power – who can help provide diverse perspectives and knowledge on all issues and not just the ones considered to be gender specific.
Below are a few organizations preparing the next cohort of women running for office, please learn how you can join them and or support their efforts.