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Girls rule!

ThisIssue: Really? When we look at the percentages of women in office, it's just not true

by Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson

The "Girls Rule!" slogan might be cute on a T-shirt we give to our daughters and nieces, but-really? When we look at the percentages of women in elected office it's just not true.

In Minnesota, women make up 32 percent of the state Legislature and 27 percent of city council seats, are 15 percent of mayors and 11 percent of county commissioners, according to statistics from WomenWinning, a local organization supporting pro-choice women running for public office.

Another familiar phrase we hear this election season is "Vote as if your life depended on it." It does. Look at the issues of pay equity, reproductive health, access to education and other concerns that impact women and girls. Our foremothers went to prison and held hunger strikes for our right to vote. Do it Nov. 6-and bring two others with you.

This issue of the Women's Press goes to press before the election. But whatever the outcomes-our message is the same: Our work of making this world a better place for women and girls isn't done.

And really-it's not that the "girls" need to rule over the rest of society. That would be using a stereotypically male model of power. What's needed is girls and boys, women and men ruling together. Let's get rid of the winner or loser, either/or mentality and look to diverse views and styles as a way forward.

When we see the polarization of our public discourse, as witnessed during the campaign season, it is clear that more qualities traditionally thought of as feminine could be used. What if our culture saw strength in inclusivity, empathy and collaboration? What if our leaders were admired for their sensitivity, understanding and listening skills?

We are issuing an invitation to men to come to the table with women in equal numbers and equal voice. And, a challenge to women to come to that table as well. When women run for office, they win at the same rates as men. More women need to run in order to have more women at the table. Now is the time to get started for the next election.

Author Marianne Williamson talks about a world where we all see ourselves as parents-and our children are all the children. She challenges us to all be homemakers and see the world as our home.

What's in your "survival kit?" What's your survival story? We posed these questions to our readers this month and based on the overwhelming number of responses, you are skilled survivors! Women are strong and resourceful. And, we can use our vote.

Coming Up:
December is our annual Changemakers issue. What would you like to see changed for women or girls?

Tell us about it.

Send a paragraph or two to editor@womenspress.com.

Deadline: November 10, 2012
December Advertising Sections:
• Holiday Guide

• Spirituality Guide
• GoSeeDo Guide
Advertising deadline: November 10, 2012


January's theme is the Power of Intentions. What are your intentions for the new year?

Tell us about it.

Send a paragraph or two to editor@womenspress.com.
Deadline: December 10, 2012
January Advertising Sections:
• Camp & Activities Guide

• Education & Lifelong Learning Guide
• Girlfriends' Guide to the New Year
• GoSeeDo Guide
Advertising deadline: December 10, 2012


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