Monday, December 21, 2009

All Eyes on Madeleine Albright � AAUW Dialog

“But grandma, I don’t get what the big deal is with you being Secretary of State — aren’t all women secretaries?”
—Madeline Albright’s four-year-old granddaughter

AAUW Leadership Programs Fellow Zabie Khorakiwala recently had two opportunities to hear Madeleine Albright talk about women in politics. She shared her impressions on the AAUW Dialog blog.
All Eyes on Madeleine Albright � AAUW Dialog: "Albright shared some of her own insight on why so few women hold political office:

* Self-doubt
* Struggles regarding self-promotion
* Fundraising challenges
* Difficulty navigating family-work responsibilities

Albright’s thoughts correspond closely with the research of Jennifer Lawless. While women who run for office are as likely to win and raise the same amount of money as men, they are far less likely to have a spouse or partner who is responsible for most household tasks or childcare. Women are less likely to be encouraged to run for office and feel less confident about their overall qualifications.

Through Campaign College, AAUW and our partners at the American University Women & Politics Institute (directed by Jennifer Lawless) and Running Start hope to combat some of these issues early on and provide young women with the knowledge and skills they need to run effective campaigns on campus. The program encourages women to run for student government and, eventually, for political office."
Just an aside -- during the ice breaker at our branch holiday party we identified four members present who had run for public office -- two for Ulster County Legislature -- Anne Gordon and Irwin Rosenthal -- and two for their library boards (Kingston and Woodstock) -- Jane Riley and Doris Goldberg. Anne ran three times and won once. Irwin lost his race. Jane and Doris currently serve on their library boards.

When we reminded folks that AAUW has initiated Campaign College to support and encourage young women to run for campus and public office, the group broke into spontaneous applause. Our membership knows how important that support is.

Thanks for putting Campaign College in place, AAUW. Now we need to ensure that some of our local college students attend.
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