Women are noticeably absent

'In NC politics, women are noticeably absent'
BY LESLIE MAXWELL

A recent N&O front page featured a photo of a beaming Gov. Pat McCrory surrounded by Rep. Thom Tillis, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Sen. Phil Berger, Rep. John Faircloth and Guilford Schools’ Superintendent Maurice Green. The photo accompanied an article about the proposed salary increase for teachers with fewer than 10 years’ experience.

Notice something? No women

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/02/17/3631026/in-nc-politics-women-noti...

I could pontificate on how right Leslie Maxwell is in her guest column, but I suggest you just read the entire piece online.

I have posted several times on the lack of women who are members of the NC House and NC Senate. There are three Democrats and three Republicans, who are women in the NC Senate. This is appalling to me. But women lack leadership roles not only in government, but in all areas of politics except the grunt work level.

It is discouraging to admit, but our efforts through groups like the Women's Political Caucus have not produced anywhere near what is required to have the numbers to reach a "tipping point" when women's concerns are taken seriously. Teachers are just in the most obvious group that is impacted by lack of women in leadership roles. How about all women of childbearing age? What about women concerned that they and their children will be drinking polluted water due to lack of a voice on fracking or coal ash?

Comments

Thank you for posting this

I agree fully - women need a strong presence at all levels of North Carolina government.

A first step would be a strong outreach and recruiting effort by the Democratic Party to get more women interested in taking on larger roles and more leadership positions.

I'm not sure how to solve the problem - there's a larger issue, I think, of getting talented people involved with politics in the state. People are busy with family and careers and, in the Triad, Triangle and Charlotte, there are many different types of volunteer opportunities and causes that can take up your time. That's why I think more "beating the bushes" is needed - political parties and groups are competing with other organizations to get attention of potential recruits.

Outreach, yeah; Money--maybe more important

Women candidates get money from Emily's List and in NC from Lillian's List and from local chapters of Democratic Women. In Wake County the Democratic Women's group gives to all Democratic candidates. I think this group could justify giving to women only, as men have greater access to donors and more funds in most cases.

Democratic Party rules were revised years ago to try to create more balance in Party Leadership, but look at who gets elected to the State Executive Committee and the State Executive Council--the District Chairs--at least. Men dominate the elected District Chairs from the 13 Congressional Districts.

How long has it been since a woman was elected Party Chair in NC? Stephanie Goslen mentioned her mom looking up to the woman who was chair, Barbara Allen, when Stephanie was young. That was two decades ago. These things matter, if only in that there need to be role models for the younger generations of Democrats.

Women work for the party and women support Democratic candidates more strongly and reliably than their male counterparts. They should be included in proportionate numbers in its leadership at all levels.

Martha Brock

Yes, yes, yes

I am not under the illusion that women are perfect, but the time has come to let them take over, in my view. Men have had the helm for generations, and the results if a mess on every front, no matter how you look at it.

I wrote this piece many years ago. It still applies.