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Women Prepare to Take Political Office

April 28, 2014 | By admin

“If women run, women win,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics

Did you know that there are several groups organizing nationwide efforts pushing gender equality in political office?

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University of New Jersey, is a leading source of scholarly research and current data about American women’s political participation. It promotes greater knowledge and understanding about women in politics and government. CAWP’s outreach programs address women’s under-representation in political leadership, and keep women updated with the latest trends and  information on politics.

One of the fastest growing national political organization is Emerge America which recruits women to train and hone their skills to win a public office. It was founded in 2005 and is currently working in 14 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Jersey, to convince Democratic women to run for office. Emerge America provides an intensive seven-month, 70-hour training program and has trained 1,275 women. Among its alumnae, 43% have run for office and 60% were elected officials, or appointed to a board or commission. This year, 176 of its graduates are running for public office, six are for Congress in the states of California, Kentucky, Maine, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

One of Emerge’s successful alumnae is Val Hoyle of Oregon. Hoyle won a seat in the state legislature in 2009 and currently, serves as Oregon’s house majority leader. Another alumna is JoCasta Zamarripa who became the first latina to be elected to the Wisconsin legislature in 2010. Today, Zamarripa serves as the Democratic caucus vice-chair.

The American Association of University Women has a program called Elect Her which encourages and trains college women to run for student government and future political office. Elect Her is a one day, 4.5 hour-training where women learn and practice campaign skills, discuss about the lives of women in government, and hear from inspiring local speakers. In 2013, 88% of the participants won as president of the student government and 20% plan to run for student government and political office in the future.

The National Organization for Women, a feminist organization founded in 1966, established the Political Action Committee in 1977 to endorse women candidates in federal elections. NOW has hundreds of chapters throughout the country which create their own PACs to endorse candidates and raise money for political campaigns and related activities.

These are just some of the organizations encouraging and helping women to realize their dreams of holding leadership positions. Efforts are being made to achieve gender equality in public office since women can also offer something valuable in the political arena.

Disclaimer: The photo is not mine nor do I claim rights on it.


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