In the News

Kathleen Kane says her win ‘expanded the boundaries for women in Pennsylvania’

Posted in In the News, Women in PA on November 12th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

By JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News

Standing before a raucous crowd at the Radisson Hotel in Scranton with family members gathered behind her, Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane wrapped up her victory speech on Tuesday night by pointing out ground she broke that night.

More important to her than being the first Democrat to be elected as the state’s attorney general, it was being its first female elected chief law enforcement officer that she took a moment to highlight.

“It is 2012,” Kane said. “I will tell you that we have expanded the boundaries for women in Pennsylvania. … We have made sure that there is no place that we can’t go and there is nothing that we can’t do. We have made sure that we can raise our families and we can have our careers.”

By becoming the first woman to be elected to that statewide office, Kane, a mother of two and former Lackawanna County deputy prosecutor, broke down the door of one of the few remaining offices that a woman has yet to hold in Pennsylvania. The governor’s office and U.S. Senate seats are the others.


How a Record Number of Women Won Senate Seats

Posted in In the News on November 9th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

Democratic outreach and issues proved pivotal


Just minutes after Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl announced his retirement after four terms in office, members of a group called Emily’s List say they had Tammy Baldwin on the phone. Baldwin, 50 and openly gay, had spent seven terms in the House but never ran for Senate.

“We think it’s your time,” Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily’s List, says she told Baldwin that day. And, Schriock says, “she agreed.”

From there Emily’s List, a political action committee that works to get Democratic female candidates elected, says it worked with Baldwin to help develop her strategy, staffing and budget decisions, as it does for many other female candidates.

And on Tuesday, Baldwin was successfully elected to the open Senate seat, beating Republican opponent Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin and becoming the nation’s first openly gay senator.

She also joined 19 other women elected to the Senate Tuesday — more women than have ever been elected to the upper house before. There are currently 17.

Read More at US News and World Report


‘Gender Gap’ Near Historic Highs

Posted in In the News on October 22nd, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment


‘Gender Gap’ Near Historic Highs



2:43 a.m. | Updated If only women voted, President Obama would be on track for a landslide re-election, equaling or exceeding his margin of victory over John McCain in 2008. Mr. Obama would be an overwhelming favorite in Ohio, Florida, Virginia and most every other place that is conventionally considered a swing state. The only question would be whether he could forge ahead into traditionally red states, like Georgia, Montana and Arizona.

If only men voted, Mr. Obama would be biding his time until a crushing defeat at the hands of Mitt Romney, who might win by a similar margin to the one Ronald Reagan realized over Jimmy Carter in 1980. Only California, Illinois, Hawaii and a few states in the Northeast could be considered safely Democratic. Every other state would lean red, or would at least be a toss-up.

Although polls disagree on the exact magnitude of the gender gap (and a couple of recent ones seemed to show Mitt Romney eliminating the president’s advantage with women voters), the consensus of surveys points to a large one this year — rivaling the biggest from past elections.


Women Take Their Case to the Ballot

Posted in In the News on October 17th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

NEW YORK — This is the year when, after a long period of political stagnation, a record number of American women — feminists, liberals, pro-choice middle-of-the-roaders, conservatives — got off the sidelines and stepped up to run for office.

“We’d been going downhill,” said Karen Middleton, president of Emerge America, a 12-state donor-funded group that trains female Democratic candidates. “Now the number of women running for Congress could break all records” for women in theU.S. Senate and the House of Representatives — “if everybody wins.”

Back in the contentious early months of this year, when the “war on women” rallied many who believed that hard-right Republicans were threatening women’s reproductive rights, few predicted that scores of women would sign up to run for the Senate and the House.

This unusually diverse group includes a professional wrestling entrepreneur, a leftist consumer advocate, a lesbian, a former police chief and the first black female Republican to run for the House.

Click here to read the full article on the New York Times

Women Head For The Hill In Record Numbers

Posted in In the News on September 25th, 2012 by admin – 1 Comment

More women are running for Congress this year than ever before. The 18 women running for the Senate break the previous record of 14, set two years ago. Also, there are 163 female candidates for House seats, more than the 141 who ran in 2004.

That gives this election season a Year-of-the-Woman ring to it, says The Center for American Women and Politics. The center’s director, Debbie Walsh, offered some reasons in a press release:

“… The crucial first election after reapportionment and redistricting, news events underscoring the need for women’s voices in policymaking, and a presidential election year generating political excitement.”

That excitement is flowing through both parties, NPR Political Junkie Ken Rudin tells Weekend Edition Sunday guest host Linda Wertheimer.

Click here to read the full article on

20 Percent in 2012, Pass it On!

Posted in In the News on September 12th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Laurie Kretchmar, The 2012 Project

Today the US Congress is only 17 percent women, which puts us 79th in the world (our ranking just dropped again). With this election we could reach “20 percent in 2012.” That’s the name of a new campaign from The 2012 Project,’s nonpartisan partner to elect women this year (#ElectWomen2012). The 2012 Project is part of Rutgers’ Center for American Women and Politics.

“We need to accelerate the pace of progress” said Mary Hughes, founder and director of The 2012 Project. “It’s time. Women are ready.”

A snapshot so far:

  • A record 161 women are nominees running for US House, topping the old record of 142. The number could rise after 3 more upcoming congressional primaries.
  • A record 297 women filed to run, up from the previous 262.
  • 4 states with the most nominees: California with 24, Texas with 15 and Florida and New York with 12 each
  • 5 small states have women running for all their US House seats (Hawaii with 2 seats, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota each with 1).
  • 2 more states might join them, depending on their primary results (NH with 2 seats and Delaware with 1)
  • 4 states have never elected a woman to Congress (Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi and Vermont)
  • 5 states have zero women on the ballot for their 20 US House seats (Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska and Vermont)

Let’s envision the day when there are talented women candidates running for ALL 435 seats and all 100 in the Senate and across the land.

In the meantime, learn about your state, make sure you’ve registered to vote, find a candidate to support, consider volunteering! Find links to websites below (if you don’t recognize the shape of a state, hover over the image to see the name):

See a full alphabetized list of states with links here.

When Will It Be “the Year of the Woman”?

Posted in In the News on July 12th, 2012 by admin – 1 Comment

July 10, 2012 12:10 pm by Anita Finlay in News & Politics – BlogHer

According to the 2012 Project of the Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics, more women are running for Congress this year than ever. But how can we make an intelligent choice as to the best candidate when overwhelming research shows the decision is being made for us via skewed, imbalanced media coverage that has a predisposition toward taking men seriously and treating women like novelties?
Research on media behavior in the 2010 midterms revealed women candidates got a whopping 68% less coverage than men on the issues and 3 times more attention paid to their appearance than their male counterparts. The Fourth Estate’s disturbing study found that men were quoted at ratios of five to one over women on women’s issues, and men overwhelmed women’s opinions on the economy and foreign policy. No Republican woman is being seriously vetted for VP this year. Despite Mrs. Romney’s recent inference to the contrary, it is likely Mitt Romney will go with a “safe” choice.

Conservative Pat Buchanan was just part of a panel on the McLaughlin Group arguing that a female president would not be elected for another 40 years. Annoying as he is, he may be right. Why? Well, if past is prologue, let’s look at recent high level races.

A blockbuster study conducted by George Washington University revealed Sarah Palin received twice the scrutiny as Joe Biden in their race for the Vice Presidency in 2008. We obsessed about Palin’s appearance, stand on social issues and family while Joe Biden got coverage on his stances on foreign policy and the economy. Furthermore, twice as many articles were published scrutinizing and obsessing over her every move whereas he got a relatively quiet ride. Mr. Biden is known for his “rhetorical flourishes” as President Obama calls them – otherwise known as gaffes. I like Vice President Biden, but no one could argue that he has a very long “blooper reel” to his credit. We just laugh it off – but if a woman said those things….

Leticia Bode and Valerie Hennings published their studies on the VP race in the journal of Politics and Policy, writing:

“Each of these differences could have had important influences on public opinion formation and the public’s voting decisions in this particular race.”

“If gender stereotypes in media coverage have the ability to negatively affect women candidates, this calls into question the American political system’s ability to produce elected representatives in a fair and democratic manner.”

If you characterize a woman as a homemaker, a mom (good or bad), and a fashion plate, how likely are we to take her seriously as a leader?

Last December, Paul Bedard of U.S. News & World Report reported on two scholarly studies fromUniversity of Utah researchers, published in the prestigious Political Research Quarterly. Both concluded that Hillary’s 2008 presidential bid “was doomed by media sexists.” That, more than ideology, “drove the media’s anti-Clinton theme.” They exposed a “lopsided reliance on male reporters” who “first belittled her effort against Barack Obama, then jumped the gun to push her out of the race earlier than any other recent strong primary challenger.”

There has been significant ongoing discussion about Hillary Clinton taking the Presidency in 2016 — and that it is “hers if she wants it.” Yet she has repeatedly stated that she is not interested. But is the LA Times Meghan Daum’s statement about women candidates true: We want her to “pursue the White House without looking like a pursuer.” Does a woman still have to play hard to get? A nonsensical notion when you consider how many women are doing heavy lifting at home, at work and now, even in the military…

There is currently a big stink since Rep. Joe Walsh, who is running against war veteran and double amputee Tammy Duckworth, made the comment that she is not a “true hero,” and that she talks about her service “too much.” So first we are dealt with as emotional beings, and then when we participate and sacrifice in what has traditionally been a male province, we are “talking about it too much” and not entitled to be taken seriously? Have I got that right?

I also encourage you to read Karrin Anderson’s article discussing “Pornification” in our political culture, wherein pornographic images, metaphors and narratives were used to negatively frame and diminish female candidates in the 2008 race. She contends this “signals a backlash against the gains women have made in the U.S.political system.”

If we link all the studies together, the lopsided reliance on male reporters and male opinion, the diminishing of women by turning them back into objects to be used or manipulated, it is clear that we have many hurdles to overcome if women are to be given fair hearing when they seek legislative and leadership positions.

Reading much of the commentary that still dominates cable shows and print articles, it is as if men looking to hold on to traditional power structures, and complicit women who do not want to lose the illusion of male-provided security, are digging in their heels, stubbornly hanging on to tired, yet comforting stereotypes that maintain the status quo and stifle competition from the encroaching female.

In today’s complex and troubled world, we need the best leadership, ideas and representation possible. Hormones and X or Y chromosomes have nothing to do with it.

Bias isn’t going to stop until we stand up and insist it stop.,0&wrap=blogher-topics%2Fnews-politics%2Fcurrent-events&crumb=106919

Rare Voices: Pittsburgh Women in Politics

Posted in In the News on June 27th, 2012 by admin – 2 Comments

Public Source
Slideshow by: Martha Rial
Article by: Emily DeMarco

Click here to view the slideshow.

Women’s voices are uncommon on the Pennsylvania political scene.

In fact, the state ranks 47th in the nation in terms of female representation and participation in politics.

That’s one reason photographer Martha Rial took a closer look at the political lives of three women of different generations in the region.

From them, she found that the issue of gender in politics hasn’t changed much in 50 years.

On the floor of Congress, only one of the 21 people who represent Pennsylvania is female. And the female population — which makes up 51 percent of its citizens — has yet to see a woman serve as governor or U.S. Senator.

At the local level, the gender gap is equally dramatic.

“Fifty-seven percent of our county councils have not one female voice,” said Dana Brown, executive director of the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University.

In Allegheny County, four of the 15 council members are women. That means 27 percent of the council is female, yet women make up 52 percent of the county.

How many of the 85 locally elected mayors and executives that govern the boroughs and townships in Allegheny County are women?

Six. That amounts to just 7 percent of the group.

Tina Doose, council president of Braddock Borough — a neighborhood east of Pittsburgh — is one of the three politicians included in Rial’s work.

“The good old boys’ club still exists,” Doose said. “And it’s not going away anytime soon, or easily.”

2012 Elections Could See Record Number Of Women Running For House Seats

Posted in In the News on June 25th, 2012 by admin – 1 Comment

The Huffington Post – By Amanda Terkel

The 2012 election cycle is on track to break the record for the highest number of female candidates running for House seats in the general election, according to calculations by the 2012 Project, a campaign of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

With the primary voting season at the halfway mark, there are 97 women in 26 states who have won their party’s nomination and will be on the ballot in the November general elections.

“If the same voting patterns continue in the remaining 24 states, where 115 women are slated to run, as many as 60 additional women would advance to the general election, putting the total well above the current record of 141 women candidates set in 2004,” according to the 2012 Project.

Women currently hold 73 of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. Four states — Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi and Vermont — have never had a woman serving in their congressional delegation.

“Research shows that women leaders introduce more bills, bring more resources home to their districts and advocate for new issues on the legislative agenda,” said Mary Hughes, founder of the 2012 Project, in a statement.

Already in this election cycle, 294 women have filed to run for House seats, with four more expected to do so, breaking the previous record set in 2010 of 262 women.

There are also a record number of Democratic women running for Senate seats in the 2012 elections.

At the gubernatorial level, however, fewer women are candidates. While four Republican women are governors, just two Democratic women hold that office — and both are resigning. This year New Hampshire is the only state where women are running for governor; Jackie Cilley and Maggie Hassan are competing in the Democratic primary, along with Bill Kennedy, to win their party’s nomination.

Where are the Women in 2012? Running for Office!

Posted in In the News on April 27th, 2012 by admin – 3 Comments

By Stephanie Schriock, President, EMILY’s List

Republicans have declared war on women — congressional panels discuss birth control with no women in sight, and GOP-led legislatures all over the country are finding more creative ways to limit our access to health care. In this environment, you couldn’t blame women for deciding that politics was not for them. There are some folks out there with reports suggesting that women are shying away from public office, not interested in running. But, frankly, the truth is far different.

I come from Montana, where individual liberty is a pretty big deal. And the right to take care of yourself is something we hold pretty dear. So I know how mad I got when Republicans started trying to chip away at my ability to make my own health care decisions, and I know I’m not the only woman who felt that way.

Rather than standing down, women are stepping forward in greater numbers than ever — as activists, as donors, and as candidates. In fact, 2012 is actually poised to be a historic year for women candidates.

Right now, there are 15 women running for the U.S. Senate, which is a record-breaking number. At EMILY’s List, we’ve made our own history by endorsing 11 of those women. To put those numbers in perspective, there are only 33 Senate seats up for election in 2012. That means that one in three Senate races this year involves an EMILY’s List-endorsed candidate. Our six incumbents up for reelection are in excellent shape running on their record of leadership over the past six years. And all five of our Senate challengers are ready to break glass ceilings — each would be the first woman senator to represent her state.

And it’s not just the Senate. We’re seeing women all across the country putting together strong campaigns at all levels, especially in the House. More women are stepping up to run for Congress every day. Pro-choice Democratic women are ready to oust the Tea Partiers, who promised to work on jobs and the economy, but pulled a bait-and-switch and launched an all-out attack on women’s rights instead.

In just this past year alone, EMILY’s List helped to add three more pro-choice Democratic women to congress through special elections. Electing Kathy Hochul, Janice Hahn and Suzanne Bonamici to the House of Representatives not only added more voices for women across the country, but also completely reversed the decline in the number of women in Congress we saw in 2010. Now, we are ready to gain some ground.

This Republican War on Women has driven women into the political process in a way we’ve never seen before. Women are not only stepping up as candidates, but as donors and as voters. At EMILY’s List, we’ve seen our community surpass more than one million members and more than double since the GOP took control of the House in 2011.

Poll after poll has shown women shying away from the Republicans’ divisive and restrictive agenda. Women will be the deciding voters in the 2012 elections. And thanks to the incredible number of outstanding female candidates running for office this year, there’s a compelling progressive alternative to that regressive agenda. Women candidates don’t want to turn back the clock on our rights; they want to focus on issues like jobs, the economy, and problems affecting families across the country.

So, where are the women? They are leaders in the House and Senate; they are working in legislatures across the country, and an incredible number of others are stepping up to join them. And come January 2013, we’re expecting to see a record number of Democratic women serving in the halls of our nation’s capitol.,b=facebook