FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2012
CONTACT: Juan Garcia
(WASHINGTON, DC)—Today, She Should Run, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to dramatically increasing the number of women in public leadership, strongly encouraged members of the Republican Conference in the U.S. House of Representatives to support Congresswoman in her race for House GOP Conference Chairwoman. If elected by her peers, Congresswoman Rodgers, currently the Conference Vice-Chair, would become only the second woman ever to hold the post within the GOP.
“It is critical that the Republican Party start supporting the women within their ranks” said She Should Run CEO/President Siobhan “Sam” Bennett. “In the new Congress, there will only be 20 or so Republican women in the GOP-dominated U.S. House Representatives. That’s less than 10% of the 230+ total Republican Members of Congress. This is a sad distortion of reality for the 44% of women across the country who voted for the Republican presidential candidate in this election. Republican women need to know that their party is serious about including women and having a qualified woman in one of the top leadership positions helps send that message, particularly to young women.”
Following a year in which the political gender gap widened, She Should Run noted the sense of urgency for women within the Republican Party.
“Women represent 50% of the population, but only about 20% of Congress,” said Bennett. “We know that both major parties have a long way to go to reach equal representation. But this year marked a moment in history that is particularly troubling for the Republican Party. Several prominent Republican women, including Senators Olympia Snowe and Kay Bailey Hutchison, announced they were retiring. Several more were taken down in the primaries. Of the 48 Republican women that made it to the general election, only 20 won their races, representing a decrease in the total number of Republican women on Capitol Hill. At a time when the Democratic Caucus is boasting of a caucus whose majority is women and racial and ethnic minorities, the Republican party is actually going backwards. When only one party is supporting and promoting women candidates, the entire spectrum of women’s voices is not being represented.”
The troublesome election aftermath goes far beyond a lack of gender diversity within the Republican Party. She Should Run noted several areas of concern for anyone interested in more functional Congress.
“Electing more women isn’t just about gender diversity,” said Bennett. “It’s about what’s in the best interests of the entire country. Women bring different perspectives, experiences, and priorities to the table and that’s very much missing in politics right now. We need more women, on both sides of the aisle, to diversify the talent pool as we tackle the serious problems facing the nation.”