This is a really big deal and exciting news from New Hampshire.
It has always bothered me that Congress is so under-represented with women, though 2012 showed real progress.
Even the new Senate will only include 20% women, while the House is a meager 18%.
In the case of New Hampshire, Democrats are doing an impressive job with putting women in a position to win. This is not a fake “binders full of women” that Republicans talk about, but something real.
The NYT reports that the governor, the speaker of the State House, and the chief justice of the state Supreme Court are all women as well.
Women won the state’s two Congressional seats. Women already held the state’s two Senate seats. When they are all sworn into office on Thursday, New Hampshire will become the first state in the nation’s history to send an all-female delegation to Washington.
And the matriarchy does not end there. New Hampshire’s new governor is a woman. So are the speaker of the State House and the chief justice of the State Supreme Court.
“Pink is the new power color in New Hampshire,” declared Ann McLane Kuster, one of the newly elected representatives, at a recent forum at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College in Manchester, where the women’s historic milestone was celebrated.
Buzzfeed’s Hillary Reinsberg delves into the reason why women have taken over political power in New Hampshire.
Her story — as well as those of the other four women — is a reflection of a unique political system that has inadvertently produced a watershed moment. New Hampshire has, by accident, solved a problem that all three waves of modern feminism have faced: How to put women in positions of true power and authority. Rep. McLane-Kuster says her mother, who served as a state senator, used to joke that New Hampshire politics “is women’s work,” but it’s not entirely a joke.
In a state with an abnormally large, unpaid legislature, the ground-level civic engagement that has always been the province of stay-at-home-moms — school boards, letter-writing campaigns — becomes the work of low-rent state legislators. These positions carry less of the fanfare or pay that come with legislatures in almost any other state. But they do something else: They offer a path past a glass ceiling that, in other states, can block women with similar career paths from running for Congress from their perches on, say, school boards or community groups.
The result is hard to argue with: Women wield virtually all of the political power in the state.