Elections are frequently won by tiny margins and the mobilization of students-especially young women-has the potential to change the political landscape drastically. Young people, especially young women, have important rights at stake in this 2010 midterm election. The stakes are high which means it is even more imperative that we exercise our right to vote! Voting is a feminist issue because we are disproportionately under-represented in all levels of government. Even though women are 51% of the population, they hold 17% of the seats in the U.S. Congress. Only 5% of U.S. House seats are held by women of color, and there are no women of color in the U.S. Senate. The picture in our state legislatures is better, but still dismal: women today hold only 24% of state legislative seats nationwide. At the current rate of gain for women in elective office, it will take over 200 years to achieve parity with men in Congress.
Not only is it necessary for us to go out and vote this coming November, but increasing voter participation among young women has the power to transform politics. Everything from abortion rights, the environment, educational loans, immigration reform and LGBTQ civil rights are going to be determined by who we elect into office. Women, between the ages of 18-24, have consistently voted less than any other age group: it’s time to change these numbers!
Your Vote Counts! Young women need to register, vote, and run for government in record numbers. Underrepresentation begins in student governments, so run for office on your campus and Get Out HER Vote this fall!
This was post was featured in the September 2010 campus eZine. To join our mailing list, sign up here.