You have a voice. Use it.
Women are massively under-represented in the political arena – just take a look at these dismal statistics:
1. The United States currently ranks 90th in the world in women’s elected representation with countries such as Rwanda (1), Cuba (6), Angola (12) and Spain (15) outranking the U.S.¹
2. Even though women constituted 54% of voters, the 2008 election cycle was the first in U.S. history in which women lost seats in Congress.¹
3. In 2011, Women hold only 17% of the seats in Congress.²
4. The number of women serving in the House of Representatives dropped for the first time since 1979 to 16.8% of the seats.²
5. Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives, bringing an end to Represenative Nancy Pelosi’s historic leadership role as the first woman Speaker of the House.²
6. Only 22% of all statewide elective executive office positions are currently held by women.²
7. State Legislatures are only 24% women.²
8. Only 6 out of 50 states have a female governor.²
9. Of the 89 women serving in the 112th US Congress, 24 or 27% are women of color. From those, 13 are African American, 7 are Latina, 4 are Asian American and none in Native American.²
10. Of the 68 women serving in statewide elective executive offices 10, or 14.7% are women of color; meanwhile, make up 4.7% of the 7,382 state legislators.²
As the 2012 Presidential election cycle approaches, women are at a critical juncture. Our rights are in question once again.
You have a voice. Get out there and use it.
Watch a special public-service announcement from Lifetime Television featuring Loretta Devine, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Eva Longoria, Susan Lucci and Cybill Shepherd; as well as Meghan McCain and Condoleezza Rice, encouraging women’s involvement in politics – whether by running for office, speaking their minds or casting a ballot.
Sources: 1. Women in National Parliaments, Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2. Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University
©2012 Liz Dennery Sanders