International Women’s Day: Here's What You Need to Know

Happy Women’s Day! Women have long been fighting to have equal say in political discussions, especially for women's rights. Slowly but surely, women are beginning to break into the political system. Here are some things you need to know.

By Bronte Price, PoliticKING

Women make up half of the world’s population and are a strong force to be reckoned with. Throughout history, women have made extraordinary contributions to their societies. Some are well known, some are less known, but all have been trailblazers. Around the world, both men and women are fighting for equal rights for women and girls because women’s rights are human rights.

International Women’s day began in 1909 in New York and was organized by the Socialist Party of America. The day is now celebrated internationally each year on March 8th. But honestly, every day is women’s day!

Here are some statistics you should know about women in politics in the United States:

Municipal Officials:

As of last June, among the 100 largest cities in the United States, 19 of those cities had a woman mayor. Four of those women are black, and two are Latina.

U.S. Supreme Court:

Of the 8 current Supreme Court justices, 3 of them are women. There have been 4 total female justices. Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to be appointed. O’Connor was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981 and retired in 2006. One of her most famous quotes is, “The power I exert on the court depends on the power of my arguments, not on my gender.”

U.S. House:

Of the 435 members of the House of Representatives, 84 of them are women, comprising 19.3% of the members. The women represent 31 different states. 62 of them are Democrats and 22 are Republicans. The congresswomen include 32 women of color: 18 African American women, 5 Asian Pacific Islanders, and 9 Latinas.

U.S. Senate:

Of the 100 U.S. Senators, 20 of them are women. California was the first state to send two women to the Senate at the same time, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. 46 women total have served in the Senate, 29 Democrats and 17 Republicans.

Speaking of women in the Senate, here’s a story you should know:

After an east coast blizzard earlier this year hit Washington DC, and temporarily shut down multiple businesses, very few lawmakers turned up to work in the capital building the next day. As Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) dealt with the formalities delaying Senate business until her colleagues could get back to work, she paused to speak up about an important fact: only women showed up to work. “Something is genuinely different — and something is genuinely fabulous,” she said. Murkowski guessed that the lack of men in the ranks of members and staffers might not have been a fluke. “Perhaps it speaks to the hardiness of women,” she added, “that put on your boots and put your hat on and get out and slog through the mess that’s out there.”

Here’s what Meghan Markle has to say about feminism and why it’s so important:

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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