Shortage of TN Women Politicians Lamented

Women are playing larger roles in the economy, yet the state continues to lag in female political participation, says the News Sentinel in a report on the East Tennessee Women’s Economic Summit, which drew about 150 participants to Knoxville.
“Women make up more than 50 percent of the population of Tennessee and we are quickly becoming more than 50 percent of the labor force in Tennessee,” said Jennifer Rawls, executive director of The Tennessee Economic Council on Women. “We live in a state driven by sales tax, and women are a driving economic force.”
As those statistics continue to rise, so does the number of Tennessee women who own their own businesses, Rawls said.
“Women play a huge role in economic progress,” she said. “Tennessee is currently 17th in the nation for female-owned businesses.”
But Rawls said there is one state ranking that needs to change.
“Tennessee is ranked 49th in female political participation,” Rawls said. “Political participation is an economic issue because those elected officials set key economic legislation.”
Rawls isn’t the only one with that opinion.
“If we don’t encourage each other throughout the year, it’s no wonder we’re 49th,” said Sharon Hannum, co-chair of the event.
For Hannum, mentoring is a key component in encouraging women to become more politically, professionally and socially active.

(Note: In the current state Legislature, seven of 33 members of the Senate are women; in the House, 17 of 99 members are women, including Beth Harwell, the first woman to serve as House speaker, and Debra Maggart, the first to serve as chair of the Republican Caucus.)
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2 thoughts on “Shortage of TN Women Politicians Lamented

  1. Annie

    Maybe women are less apt to enter politics not because they don’t want to see change but for the nasty, ugly system it has become. The media controls how and what gets said about you and if your policies are contrary to theirs than suddenly they are smearing your family. It would be nice if we had good people who are willing to solve problems like the economic ones the state and federal government are facing rather than to only promote themselves and strive for re-election.

  2. Annie

    Maybe women are less apt to enter politics not because they don’t want to see change but for the nasty, ugly system it has become. The media controls how and what gets said about you and if your policies are contrary to theirs than suddenly they are smearing your family. It would be nice if we had good people who are willing to solve problems like the economic ones the state and federal government are facing rather than to only promote themselves and strive for re-election.

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