Illustration by Jen Kelly.

Year of the women 2.0

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2018 is looking to be another year for woman in politics. Why stop now?

1992 has often been declared as the last “Year of the Woman” for politics.

According to the United States House of Representatives History, Arts & Archives website, “a record 71 California women were nominated to run in the fall elections for federal and state offices” in 1992.

Now, according to Politico, a whopping 575 women “have declared their intention to run for the House, the Senate or governor.” But why stop there?

The increase in political interest from women should encourage younger women to step forward more than ever before. Women starting college should even plan to run for government offices.

Most government offices have age minimum requirements for candidacy.

According to the U.S Legal website, “in the U.S., a person must be at least 35 years of age to be president or vice president, 30 years to be a senator or 25 years to be a representative, as specified in the U.S. Constitution.”

The average age of college students is 18-24, and last fall, according to the National Center for Education statistics, an estimated 11.5 million women attended college this academic school year. That’s 11.5 million potential representatives. This doesn’t include women above the 24-year-old mark.

For even slightly older students, opportunities as a senate, president or vice president, might already be available. Though the number of women declaring their intentions to run for office has increased since 1992, the fire needs to be fueled more.

“Women make up only about a fifth of Congress, despite comprising half of the population,” Politico reported. “And only six states have women as governors, while 22 states have never had a female chief executive.”

Change is coming slowly but surely as women see around the political shortcomings.

In an article in the New York Times, several women decided to become politically involved after seeing, hearing and experiencing these shortcomings.

“None of the women had seriously contemplated entering politics before,” the article said. “They had no money or organization. But they were dismayed with the direction of the country, they said, starting with the election of President Trump, and finally decided to act.”

Currently, the youngest member of Congress, Elise Stefanik, is 34 years old. Though 10 years above the minimum, this should be seen as encouragement.

Young age does not mean ignorance, and experience must start somewhere. Getting involved politically is a way to create change for anyone. Increasing women’s representation in local and federal government has never been more important.

There’s guidance for you if you’re interested, yet hesitant. She Should Run is a non-partisan group that jump starts women on their path to running for office and directing them toward starting campaigns.

Even if becoming involved seems a long way off, the time to start is still now, during the year of the woman 2.0.

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