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Women in politics

Last August,  I wrote about the need for more women to be involved in politics to help balance the legislative decision-making process in our country.


This November, the State of New Hampshire became the first state in the nation's history to have an all-female delegation heading to Washington. The newly elected Governor of the state is also a woman.


The call to action by many female elected officials and organizations such as Emily's List and The White House Project was heard loud and clear and women stepped up to enter the political arena.  As a result,  America's 113th Congress will theoretically be the most representative of American women in history, with 20 women serving in the Senate and 81 in the House. While this progress is exciting, it's worth noting that women are still 30 Senators and more than 130 Representatives away from parity. Moreover, just because more women are serving doesn't mean they have political clout: Not a single House committee will be chaired by a woman in 2013.


Jess McIntosh, a spokesperson for Emily's List, says studies show that women in positions of power are more likely to compromise, which could be crucial with a potential budget crisis facing the United States.


While these gains are significant, we have a lot of work still ahead of us to make government truly representative.  To the younger women out there - please find a way to get involved, whether in your community, at the state or federal level.  Unless the conversation that is being held is being conducted by both men and women, progress will not be steady.


Photo: Gary Lerude

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Sheila Hollender likes to blog about the environment and health issues.