20,000 Women Want To Run For Office This Year

One of the reasons our government is so intent on suppressing women’s rights to our own bodies is due to the dismal underrepresentation of women in office. Fortunately, that number may be rising soon — and fast.

In April, we reported that 11,000 women had reached out to Emily’s List to express interest in running for office, a startling jump from the 900 interested in 2016. Now, according to Refinery 29, that number has risen to 20,000 women strong.

Emily’s List is a progressive organization that focuses on recruiting and training women to run for political office, and the jump in numbers is a hopeful sign for the 2018 elections.

“It was this convention that pushed us over,” Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock told R29, referring to the inaugural Women’s Convention in Detroit this week. “We were at 19,000 last week and basically the past few days we shot up.”

Schriock also explained that Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 caused an unprecedented number of women to throw their hats in the political ring.

“Over 1,000 women hit the link on our website within four weeks of the election,” she said. “They’re not all running right now, but what they’re saying is ‘I want to run. I want to serve. I want to make sure the voices of my community are heard. And I believe I can win.'”

While Schriock reports that 40 percent of responders are looking into local races, many others have their eyes on 2018 congressional races. And with only 21% of women in the U.S. Senate and 19% in the House of Representatives, representation is badly needed.

Gender is by no means the only basis on which to vote. Still, giving women a seat at the table at all levels of government matters and is key in making changes to combat systemic sexism.

If you yourself are interested in entering the political sphere or helping female candidates win,  check out the resources you need here.

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