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Women tapping into their own strength

posted Dec 1, 2017, 7:19 AM by Oconee Democratic Party

The Journal, Posted on November 30, 2017


I think I’ve died and gone to heaven after looking at the most recent election results. All my life I’ve dreamed that women would take their rightful place alongside men in politics and business in our country. Until now, I believed that I wouldn’t see this happen in my lifetime, even though women are just as smart, just as creative and just as talented as men. We make up 51 percent of the population, but where is our representation?

However, there is hope that balance will come before I leave this Earth. Look what happened. Jennifer beat Mike, Wendy beat Randall, Danica beat Robert, Kelly beat Ronald, Elizabeth beat Scott, Hala beat Richard, Betsy beat Jake, and Margaret beat Francis in the House of Delegates for the Virginia State Congress. The overall number of women serving in that 100-member congress will jump from 17 to 27 next year. That is only halfway to the goal of half of representation, but at least it’s progress.

The Women’s March on Washington in January 2017 triggered a movement. An estimated half million women came to Washington, D.C., and 4.6 million more marched throughout the U.S. We want and deserve our rightful place in the decision-making in politics and business. The scales are finally being righted. Case in point, first-time politician Ashley Bennet beat incumbent John Carman, a man who mocked the Women’s March on Washington.

We’ve had 42 women governors since 1925, including territories. Six women are currently serving as governors. There are 39 women running for U.S. Senate and 353 running for the U.S. House as well as many other offices like attorney general, auditor and governor in 2018.

Women are tapping into their strength because they see what politics has become without their presence. There is a seat at the table that needs to be filled by the other half of humanity. I just hope I can stick around long enough to see that 50 percent achieved. With more women in positions of power, perhaps we will finally see pay equity, less sexual harassment, more diversity at all levels of government and business.

Patty Warner