Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Women's representation in New Hampshire state legislature

This article from 2009 was a real eye-opener for me.  "The Matriarchy up North," by Renee Loth shows what happens when women are fairly represented in state legislatures.

"I do think gender has affected the way we discuss issues," says Exeter Democrat Margaret Hassan, the Senate's president pro tem. "Women tend to see problems in a much less segmented fashion, and that has allowed us to connect the dots in different ways."
This is the more interesting question about women in power. Sure, women should be heard more in government - and the law, and science, and journalism - as a matter of sheer equity. But it's not the quantity of women so much as the different quality that can bring real change."

This changed in 2010. "Men's Club Redux? Fewer Women in State Legislative Seats," shows the seats we lost in the 2010 midterms.

"While New England legislatures have included more women historically, the region suffered a much larger loss than the nation at large.  In 2010, 32% of state legislators in New England were women; in 2011, just over 27% will be.  This drop was driven by New Hampshire, where 53 women lost seats in the legislature. Among other New England results, Connecticut lost five women legislators, Maine lost tow and Massachusetts lost six."

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