There is something in the air, and no, it’s not more snow.
Today Tina Smith will take over as embattled MN Senator Al Franken steps down. And as positive for women as that might sound, the overall numbers are dismal. Women make up less than 20% of Congress, and in the US, women in elected positions rank us 101st around the world, behind Guinea, Pakistan and even Saudi Arabia.
And the hits just keep on coming. From a CNN Op-Ed: Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics show that women’s representation at lower levels is equally dismal: only 24% of statewide elected officials, 25% of state legislators and 22% of major-city mayors are women. And the statistics are even more abysmal for women of color. They make up about 18% of the US population, but only make up 7.1% of Congress, 2.2% of statewide elected executives, 6% of state legislators and 9% of major-city mayors.
CNN reports that “Emerge America,” which offers training to female Democratic candidates, has seen an 87% increase in applicants to their candidate training programs. She Should Run, an advocacy group supporting female candidates, reports that more than 15,000 women have contacted them since the election. And, in contrast to about 900 calls in 2016, EMILY’s List has received 25,000 from women exploring running for office.
The reason why these low-participation numbers are alarming is not because of fairness alone, but for an even simpler reason; we need women in power. If Trump has proven anything, it’s that we’ve maxed-out on sociopathic, male-dominated governments, embroiling nations in war and one-upmanship. Time to point a finger at men who prey on women, but even more importantly, to replace them with women who stand for us all.