Of all the fields we’d like to see equal gender representation and that would have the biggest impact on girls and women in EVERY area, politics remains the one field we see the least amount female involvement. The most frustrating part of the fact that women (over 51% of the population) represent less than one-quarter of state legislative seats, and only 17 percent of the US Congress is that studies show that women do a better job in office.
Studies done by researchers at Stanford University and the University of Chicago offer evidence that politicians who are women accomplish more then their male counterparts. We are thrilled to see the official research proving what we, along with the many other organizations encouraging girls and women to run for office, have been saying since Susanna Madora Salter became the first female elected official in the United States back in 1887.
According to the study, which followed women lawmakers from 1984 through 2004, on average, women introduced more bills, gained more co-sponsors, and brought more money home to their districts.
It also found that women politicians spent roughly nine percent more of their discretionary funds. The research suggests that women tend to be more ambitious in accomplishing their goals due to the increased obstacles many of them
overcame to get their seats in Congress.
Women in Congress sponsor three more bills per congressional term, which on average is more than their male congressmen. Now imagine what could be accomplished if women made up more than just 17% of Congress. Imagine if they actually made up 50%. The sky would truly be the limit.
As our country faces enormous challenges the need for leaders who get the job done is obvious. And you know what they say: sometimes the best man for the job… is a woman.
Have YOU ever talked to your SheHero about running for office? Encourage your SheHeroes to get involved in the community and run for office in student government or of local clubs or organizations she belongs to. Remind her that statistics show that the participation of women, their voice and experience is vital for a healthy democracy.
You can also drive to your local City Hall, State Assembly or Congressman’s office. Find the nearests woman in office and take your SheHero to meet her! You can also do a simple search online to introduce your SheHero to some of the inspiring women in office today or our check-out our video section and meet SheHero Polly Baca, the first Latina in the country to hold a House and State Senate seat (Colorado State Senate)!
Look into groups like Running Start and Camp Congress for Girls and the Political Institute for Women are here to help encourage, teach and give our young SheHeroes the tools they need to rule the world!
You can also find your local representatives by typing into your browser: www.(your state).gov.