Move over men—the women are moving in. Yeah for estrogen! Boo for testosterone! But seriously, Ohio needs more women politicians. And so does Scioto County.
The Ohio House of Representatives showed 28 female lawmakers and 71 male lawmakers in 2019. The largest number of female lawmakers in the chamber’s 215-year history. Shazam!
The Ohio Senate showed seven female lawmakers and 26 male lawmakers in 2019. Girls, roll up your sleeves. There’s work to be done.
How many female officials in government positions in Ohio? Out of 17,412 elected offices at all levels of government in Ohio, 29 percent of the positions are held by women. According to 2017 data: 36 percent on school boards; 33 percent in villages; 31 percent judicial; 29 percent counties; 25 percent cities; 22 percent townships; 22 percent state. Visit www.columbusceo.com.
Of the 282 county commissioners in Ohio in 2017, only 15 percent are women, according to the 2017 County Commissioners Association of Ohio Roster. Visit www.ccao.org.
“There needs to be a fundamental shift in the way societies view women in government, one that does not see them as mere seat-fillers or stats on a chart, they must be viewed as a vital contributing factor to the betterment of the world.”―Aysha Taryam
Women Supporting Women
A Columbus-based political action committee, the Matriots, is working toward the goal of 50 percent representation by women in Ohio elected offices by 2028. The Matriots Political Action Committee is a voluntary, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization supporting women candidates in Ohio. Visit www.matriotsohio.com.
Ohio Women in Government understands the importance of developing the professional talents of its members and promoting more women to positions of leadership. OWIG is a non-partisan organization giving women working in, interested in, or affected by public policy the opportunity to network, discuss political/policy issues, and experienced speakers and related topics. Visit www.ohiowomeningovernment.com.
Formed from the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the League of Women Voters’ most important efforts continue to be expanding participation and giving a voice to all Americans. We do this at all three levels of government, engaging in both broad educational efforts as well as advocacy. Visit the League of Women Voters in Ohio at www.lwvohio.org.
The Baldwin Wallace Center for Women and Politics of Ohio (CWPO) is a non-partisan public resource that tells the story of women running for public office in Ohio. Provides an overview of women from Ohio running for president, US Congress, the state legislature, the judiciary, and state-wide office. Visit www.bw.edu.
“We’ve chosen the path to equality, please don’t let them turn us around.”—Geraldine Ferraro
Scioto County Female Politicians
In Scioto County (2017 data), the elected females made up 28 percent. Neighboring counties, Pike and Lawrence showed 17 percent. The highest was Portage and Monroe, both with 40 percent. The lowest was Mercer County with 12 percent.
According to WSAZ, Jane Murray, the first female mayor of Portsmouth, Ohio, took office in 2010. She declared, “I found gross negligence and mismanagement and I promised to clean up this government.” When Murray was sworn in, she said she was inheriting a city government that was “in shambles and sinking in a financial quagmire.” After fireworks (not the 4thof July kind) and a city-wide recall election, the new mayor was ousted.
Scioto County residents, are you on board with more ladies in leadership positions? Is Portsmouth ready for another woman mayor or for a female city manager? What courageous females will step up to the plate (not the dinner plate) and run for mayor, city council, commissioner, school board, and other elected offices in Portsmouth and Scioto County?
Men in southern Ohio need to encourage their wives, daughters, sisters, coworkers, and neighbors to run for elected offices.
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”—Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an opinion-editorial columnist. She lives in Scioto County.