I attended a briefing on the 2012 project tonight at the Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women at the University of Denver.
The primary speaker was Mary Hughes who charismatically explained why the US needs more elected officials who are women. Among other things I learned that in the USA women are:
- 12% of Governors
- 17% of Congress
- 24% of State Legislators
The USA consistently ranks in the middle of the pack globally when it comes to political representation of women (and yet don’t we seem to always be haranguing other countries for their treatment of women?)
- Economic participation and opportunity – salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment
- Educational attainment – access to basic and higher level education
- Political empowerment – representation in decision-making structures
- Health and survival – life expectancy and sex ratio
While the USA scores well on many of these, for political empowerment we are only #61, after countries such as Pakistan.
The overall goal of the 2012 project is to identify, and recruit a pool of women age 45 + (especially with expertise in finance, science, technology, energy, health, environment, small business and international relations) to become candidates for office and use the historic census redistricting to facilitate the election of more women into office.
While some of this was compelling, mostly I kept thinking of this scene from Mary Poppins.