How to make us all safer

January 12, 2018 | Swanee Hunt

Women’s March, Boston, January 2017

What’s the best way to fight sexual assault and harassment in America?  Elect more women.

That’s the straightforward premise of the commentary I wrote with Andrea Dew Steele, who runs the impressive women’s political advocacy group Emerge America. Our  column ran on Jan. 2 on cnn.comRead the whole piece here.

We make the case that electing more women – whether Republican or Democratic — will change the tone, change the norm, and change the laws. And the movement to do that is surging. I know this not just from instinct, but from years of research by our foundation’s program, Political Parity.

Oprah was right: “A new day is on the horizon.”

Let me share an excerpt from the column:

A seismic shift in government is coming, and here’s who will drive it

(CNN) On January 3, Tina Smith will be sworn in to replace Al Franken as the junior US senator from Minnesota. The resignation of a male senator confessing to sexual misconduct, and his almost immediate replacement by a woman, is symbolic of an extraordinary period in American history. It also likely foreshadows a massive shift: the titanic infusion of women into leadership at all levels of government.

Right now, women make up less than 20% of Congress. In fact, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which tracks gender representation in government, the United States ranks number 101 globally in terms of women’s political representation, behind Guinea, Pakistan and — get this — Saudi Arabia.

Current numbers from Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics show that women’s representation at lower levels is equally dismal: only 24% of statewide elected officials, 25% of state legislators and 22% of major-city mayors are women. And the statistics are even more abysmal for women of color, about 18% of the US population, who make up only 7.1% of Congress, 2.2% of statewide elected executives, 6% of state legislators and 9% of major-city mayors.

In DC-speak, our government is pale, male and stale…

Read the full article