Fewer women are running for political office this campaign season

LatinaLista — A curious thing is happening this election season — the number of women running for lower levels of political office is at an all-time low.

Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, greets supporters as she arrives at a rally with Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., not shown, Monday, Sept. 29,2008, in Columbus, Ohio.
(Source: Gerald Herbert/AP Photo)

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) reports 7 women are running for the U.S. Senate (only one Latina); 133 women running for House of Representatives; 4 for Governor, 3 for Lieutenant Governor; 37 for statewide elective executive office; 30 other statewide elective executive offices and 2,301 for state legislatures in 44 states.

“2008 has seen women in politics making news, first with the presidential candidacy of Senator Hillary Clinton and then with the naming of Governor Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential candidate,” notes CAWP director Debbie Walsh. “But at other levels, the low numbers of women candidates are disappointing. Renewed efforts are needed across the country to recruit and encourage women to run at every level.”

Could it be women are becoming complacent because we finally see women competing at the higher levels of political office and gaining ground?
In a country that is majority female complacency over seeing only two women run for national political office would be sad.
Whether it’s a reflection of low expectations among ourselves or lack of self-confidence or a fear of media scrutiny, it’s obvious that the only thing still holding women back — is ourselves!

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