The Glass Ceiling Is Bound To Crack With 20,000 New Women Getting Ready To Run For Office

by Amanda Brohman

Remember the Leonard Cohen song, “Anthem,” where he says, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”? Well, in the midst of what increasingly seems to have become the official year of darkness (2017, we are done with you, get out of our our way and take Trump, Weinstein and the rest of the misogynist patriarchy with you), we are seeing some new, hopeful cracks of light shining through the sometimes seemingly impenetrable dark ceiling. 

During the first Women’s Convention in Detroit, arranged by those behind the Women’s March, Emily’s List (the organization which works to encourage more women to run for office) announced that as of this weekend, there are 20,000 more women who have signed up to run for various degrees of public office in the near future — a number that had increased from 19,000 to 20,000 in just a few days as the Women’s Convention went on. “We were at 19,000 last week, and basically the past few days we shot up,” Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock told Refinery29 on Sunday. 

After Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election in 2016, Emily’s List saw a huge surge of women signing up and researching possibilities of running for office, showing that there seems to be a silver lining to even the most dull, depressing of fabrics.  “Over 1,000 women hit the link on our website [to learning how to run] within four weeks of the election,” Schriock told Refinery29. And now, less than one year later, that number has increased to 20,000, with around 50% of the women who signed up being younger than 45 years old, and every state being represented. 40% of the women are planning to run for local office, including city council and the local school boards. 

This is a positive potential shift in the American political climate where, still, only 19.6% of the seats in Congress and no more than 25% of seats in state legislatures are held by women, according to the Center For American Women in Poltiics. And, as with any glass ceiling or thick layer of ice, even one crack will lead to more cracks — so just imagine what 20,000 cracks could do.

Top photo from the Women’s Convention Site

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