November 5th will mark the first ever “Race to Representation”–a daring 5k promoting women’s equality in the fraternity we call government.
By Shira Karsen
We’ve come a long way since woman’s suffrage of the 1920s. We have the right to vote, live on our own, and work alongside our male counterparts. But for such a progressive country, the U.S. ranks 90th out of 115 countries worldwide in percentage of women serving in legislature. Who’s number one? Uganda. Surprised? Yeah, we are too. In the U.S. we’ve got 83% men serving on the hill, 44 out of our 50 states governors mansions housing guys, and there’s even a solid fraternal reign over city councils. And considering women represent 51% of the population, these numbers sound more medieval than modern.
Part of the problem is that women simply don’t get enough exposure to politics at a young age, and even if they do there is no one to motivate them to run. So to help kick the U.S. into the 21st century and encourage the opposite sex to run for office, Jennifer Lawless, director of Women & Politics Institute at American University, created the Race to Representation.
This inaugural 5k run (or walk if you’re not athletically inclined) is meant to encourage all district (and surrounding area) women to run for political office by showing them they are not alone and have resources like the Women & Politics Institute. Closing the political gender gap is important, because without it a woman’s voice and opinion simply cannot be heard. Lawless is expecting over 500 runners–both male and female. We are trying to equalize gender representation after all…–on the 5th, so dust off those running shoes and tie up your laces; it’s time to get in the race.
For more information and to register for the race, click here. Or, email My-Lien Le at firstname.lastname@example.org.