Nevada one of top states for women in state legislatures | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada one of top states for women in state legislatures

Ronni Hannaman

Image from Puck Magazine, February 20, 1915, pp. 14-15

Nevada is on the bottom of so many lists that when you see one that puts us near the top, you just have to shout it from the rooftops!

The National Conference of State Legislatures just released its annual study showing Nevada to be one of the top states where women have been elected to their state legislatures.

Currently, 39.7 percent of our 63 state legislators is comprised of women: 17 in the Assembly and 5 in the Senate. Only Arizona and Vermont rank higher at 40 percent. The legislature of our dominant liberal neighbor, California, is comprised of only 22.5 percent women.

Statistics show the Democrats to be more prone to electing women to serve as legislators. The partisan composition of women in the 50 states show Democrats electing 1,141 women versus the Republican party at 704 women.

When it comes to women in leadership in the legislature, Nevada boasts two: Assemblywomen Irene Bustamante Adams and Teresa Benitez-Thompson, both Democrats. California has one female senator serving as minority leader — and that's it. This leads one to determine men still hold the majority of leadership positions. By party breakdown nationally, there are 45 Democratic females in leadership vs. 23 Republicans.

On the federal level, of the 545 congressional members, only 19.8 percent are women: 22 in the U.S. Senate and 84 in the House of Representatives. In Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto (D) serves as U.S. Senator and of the four seats in the House of Representatives, two are female: Dina Titus and Jacky Rosen, both Democrats.

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Whether Republican or Democrat, the statistics bode well for women who wish to run for state or federal office to bring a more balanced representation to government.