COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Whether you voted for her or not, one can't ignore the historic proportions of Nikki Haley's election as South Carolina's first female governor.
It's significant for many reasons, but perhaps most strikingly because our state has so few women in government. We rank last in the nation in terms of the percentage of women in our legislature and have no women in our 46-seat state senate. Although women make up over half of the population of this state, female representation in our state house is less than 14% and only 10% in the legislature as a whole.
I, for one, don't believe this situation exists because women can't be elected. Ms. Haley debunked that myth. I believe it's because we simply don't have enough women running for office.
The Southeastern Institute for Women In Politics is actively encouraging and training women to run according to board member Barbara Rackes. The goal is to achieve parity in representation, she says, and that's a tall order.
The institute also identifies female candidates who are available and eligible for appointment to influential organizational boards as well as federal, state, county, and municipal seats of power .
Nikki Haley's position as governor of our state is a great start and perhaps she will encourage and inspire more women to step up and make a bid for public office so that we can lose our 50th out of 50 ranking for female lawmakers.
That's my perspective and I'd love to hear what you think.