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Archive for April, 2012

Which states have the most women in politics

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

The role of women in politics and leadership has proven to be a particularly flammable storyline throughout the 2016 election, whether it’s Donald Trump’s feud with Fox journalist Megyn Kelly or his assertion that Hillary Clinton is “playing the woman card left and right” in the presidential contest. (For her part, the former secretary of state cashed in on Trump’s comment, collecting $2.4 million in a fundraising campaign based off the remark.)

During an MSNBC town hall in April, Clinton said if she were elected president, wholesale jerseys from china she would have a Cabinet that was 50 percent female. And the week before, the Democrat’s campaign told the Boston Globe that women will be on the list of Clinton’s potential vice presidential picks. For a brief time, former presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina actually was a VP candidate, when she joined Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s Republican presidential ticket in late April.

With gender focused narratives dominating national headlines, Graphiq politics site InsideGov decided to investigate female representation in politics on a state level. Using data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, InsideGov ranked the 25 states with the highest percentage of women in elected office. The data, as of March 2016, counts how many women hold elected office in each state’s House and Senate and finds a percentage based on the total number of seats in both chambers. When necessary, InsideGov broke ranking ties by the total number of women legislators, and then alphabetically. population. But the state government data shows that, overall, just 24.5 percent of state legislators are women. All of the states on this list have legislatures composed of at least 25 percent women, but even the top state doesn’t meet the 50 percent mark.

Percentage of Elected State Officials Who Are Women: 25.00 Percent

Total Number of Female Elected Officials in State Legislature: 50 Women

Total Number of Seats in State Level Politics: 200 Seats

When it comes to the national level, Massachusetts claims one of the better known women in politics: Democratic Sen. Senate. On a more local level, Democratic state Sen. Therese Murray became the first female president of the Massachusetts Senate in 2007. She retired in 2015.

Percentage of Elected State Officials Who Are Women: 27.62 Percent

Total Number of Female Elected Officials in State Legislature: 29 Women

Total Number of Seats in State Level Politics: 105 Seats

State Sen. Shawn Keough, a Republican who has represented northern Idaho’s District 1 since 1996, told a local reporter that she received some pushback when she first ran for office in the 1990s. “The strongest comment was, ‘How does your husband allow you to do this, or put up with this?’” Keough recalled for a 2014 article in the Boise Weekly. “My husband was actually asked by another legislator once, ‘How come you let her come here?’”

Percentage of Elected State Officials Who Are Women: 28.33 Percent

Total Number of Female Elected Officials in State Legislature: 17 Women

Total Number of Seats in State Level Politics: 60 Seats

In Alaska, the majority of women in the state legislature are Republicans   14 Republicans to three Democrats. Women also hold top leadership positions in both parties. House Majority Leader Charisse Millett, a Republican out of Anchorage, was first elected to the House in 2008. Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner, a Democrat who also represents Anchorage, has served in the Senate since 2013.

Percentage of Elected State Officials Who Are Women: 28.34 Percent

Total Number of Female Elected Officials in State Legislature: 53 Women

Total Number of Seats in State Level Politics: 187 Seats

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides followed an unconventional path into politics that started in a wrestling ring and ended up in the Connecticut Capitol. Before she launched her current career, Klarides was a WWE “ring girl” and model. A Connecticut native, Klarides was first elected to the state House in 1998, and became the first woman to lead the House Republicans in 2014.

Percentage of Elected State Officials Who Are Women: 29.01 Percent

Total Number of Female Elected Officials in State Legislature: 123 Women

Total Number of Seats in State Level Politics: 424 Seats

With an estimated population of about 1.3 million, New Hampshire is among the least populated states in the country. Congress, with its 535 voting members, is larger). Of the 400 members in the New Hampshire state House, 115 are women. Eight of the 24 members of the state Senate are women.

Percentage of Elected State Officials Who Are Women: 31.33 Percent

Total Number of Female Elected Officials in State Legislature: 47 Women

Total Number of Seats in State Level Politics: 150 Seats

In 2014, Montana’s House of Representatives grabbed national headlines when Republican leaders offered up a dress code that gave some pretty specific directions for female lawmakers. Although restrictions were given for both men and women, women were instructed that “leggings are not considered dress pants” and that they “should be sensitive to skirt lengths and necklines.” According to BuzzFeed News, Democratic Rep. Jenny Eck said of the rules: “It feels like an admonishment reserved for women about being sensitive about what we wear and I find that problematic. I don’t think there was an intent to be discriminatory, but that was the end effect.”