Monday, November 10, 2008


If women had been properly positioned by either or both parties to win OPEN SEATS -- as in "Every Open Seat a Woman's Seat" -- and had won 50% (17), the number of women in the 111th Congress would have gone from 16% to 20%.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A new political world, except for women in Congress

The reality of what happened Tuesday has not quite set in. It's a new day, for sure -- but what will that mean for women, who progressed less than one percentage point in their quest for parity in the U.S. Congress...from 16% to 17%. So far, BTW, I have not heard any women beyond HRC mentioned for any Cabinet post. But I digress.

HERE you will find my report on 2008 OPEN SEATS (including Special Elections). While ten new faces will be part of the 111th Congress, this amounted to a net gain of four women when you take into account retirement, lost races, etc. Only four women won OPEN SEATS (12%), unless you count Marcia Fudge in OHIO-11, who replaced Stephanie Tubbs-Jones in a Special Election as well.

Most appalling is the fact that 19 (nineteen) states have NO WOMEN in either house of Congress -- something they used to call "taxation without representation." This is not only unacceptable, but will not change in our lifetimes unless there are concrete political efforts to do so.

This became even clearer talking to women visiting from the UK and Middle East to observe our elections. In Great Britain, Labour Party women have gained more seats in Parliament due to the "All-Women Short List." And in Morrocco, King Mohammed VI has made a committment to gender equality with a goal of 30% of legislative seats by 2015! In the U.S., neither of the two main political parties have any concrete plans/goals to accelerate the election of women to Congress. What is wrong with this picture?

Will the November 4, 2008 political paradigm change make any difference for women endeavoring to take their fair share of decision-making seats in Congress? Let's continue to hope!