This is a great time for women to use their voices for change. The road has been long and difficult but for the first time ever we are seeing more women in politics. If you’re a woman interested in getting involved or know one who is, read on to find out how.
This is a great time for women to use their voices for change. The road has been long and difficult but for the first time ever we are seeing more women in politics. If you’re a woman who is interested in getting involved or know one who is, read on to find out how.
An eye-opening article in Politico, “The Secret History of Women in the Senate,” revealed many of the struggles women face in modern politics. This frustrating read was at times hilarious. The Dark Age discrimination endured by our country’s most powerful women seems too ridiculous to be real. There were fights to include women at the male-only Senate pool, fights to get more women’s bathroom stalls, and fights to end Mad Men era sexual harassment in the workplace. But despite all of this, women have persevered.
The Center for American Women and Politics reports that 2015 has been a record year for women in politics. According to the report,
“Women currently hold 104 of the 535 seats in the 114th U.S. Congress along with 20 of 100 seats in the Senate, and 84 of 435 seats in the House of Representatives.”
While these numbers are on the rise, we still have a long way to go. Women make up half of the population but their voices don't count for half even though they should. According to CAWP,
“In every presidential election since 1980, the proportion of eligible female adults who voted has exceeded the proportion of eligible male adults who voted.”
So if women vote more than men, it only makes sense our representatives push for more policies to benefit women. The only way to accomplish this is to get even more women in politics. Because even with a record year, women still only make up 19.4 percent of the Senate. And Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is still only one of four women to serve on the high court since its founding in 1789.
A handful of female voices aren’t enough to make systemic changes. Just look at the Hobby Lobby decision last year, which took access to contraceptives away from women working for employers who are against birth control.
According to Mic.com,
“When SCOTUS infamously ruled 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby last year, Ginsburg’s dissent called the case a decision of startling breadth. She warned that the exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would ... deny legions of women who do not hold their employers’ beliefs access to contraceptive coverage, and said she feared that the court has ventured into a minefield.”
So how do we fix underrepresentation of women in Congress? How can women get involved? These are the questions the “Ready to Run” women’s training program at the University of Iowa has set out to answer. This month, the University is kicking off its fifth year of teaching women how to organize campaigns, raise money, and deal with the media.
According to the program website,
“Ready to Run Iowa is a non-partisan, campaign training program designed to recruit and train women in Iowa to run for elective office, prepare for appointive office, or become involved in public life as leaders in their respective communities.”
We here at Off the Grid would like to commend Iowa State for starting such a wonderful program to help women #StayVigilant. If you’re a woman looking to find similar training in your state or you know a woman who is, visit CAWP for more information. And to see a strong female figure making a difference in politics, check out our latest episode of Off the Grid, "Battle of the Monarchs," featuring Hillary Clinton.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.
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