Advancing women’s role in politics is still a work in progress

By KAREN SHUEY | Staff Writer

In a lot of ways, it’s become a woman’s world. More women than ever before are entering the workforce, they are earning college degrees at a faster pace than men and they are stepping into leadership roles more often.

But you can’t help but notice that women are often missing when you turn on a news conference from Capitol Hill, watch senators debate a bill in Harrisburg or show up to a township supervisors meeting.

And despite the emergence over the past decade of several high-profile women in elected positions — from Hillary Clinton to Sarah Palin, many local female leaders said it seems politics is still very much a man’s world.

Why? And what does it mean?


Data compiled by the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics show that women hold less than 16 percent of the seats in Congress and about 24 percent of the positions in state legislatures.


Ninety nations around the world have more women in their national legislature than the United States. Rwanda, Cuba and Sweden are among the countries ranked in the top five.


Things don’t look much better at the state level.


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