The good news is that Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski is receiving the praise she is due. As the longest serving female in congress, the Maryland politician has broken ground for all the women who will follow in her footsteps.
The bad news is that so few still have.
This week the senate celebrated Mikulski’s 35 years in office. With more than 12,800 days in Congress under her belt in both the House and Senate, she’s seen a great deal of change since she was sworn in in 1987. But not nearly enough.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated in his tribute, “The Senate has come pretty far, with 17 women now serving.” But sadly, that’s a sad 17 percent of the senate, and the House percentages of representation is just as dismal. At a time when women make up over 50 percent of the population, is less than one fifth of Congress really that “far?”
In the 2010 elections, the number of women decreased for the first time. Thanks to special election wins, that number stabilized, but we’re heading into another election where women candidates need to be supported.
Women deserve more than 17 percent.
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