Tag Archives: Kirsten Gillibrand

Women running for office?

What will it take to make a woman president?

Editor’s Note: Marianne Schnall is a journalist whose writings and interviews have appeared in The Huffington Post, The Women’s Media Center, Glamour Magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine. She is also the co-founder and executive director of Feminist.com, as well as the co-founder of the environmental siteEcoMall.com. Her new book is titled  “Daring to Be Ourselves: Influential Women Share Insights on Courage, Happiness and Finding Your Own Voice.”

By Marianne Schnall, Special to CNN

It has been three years since we applauded Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” during the 2008 presidential campaign. However, there has been little progress for women inWashingtonto celebrate since then. In fact, the current statistics on women’s representation in theU.S.government are pretty shocking: while women make up almost 51% of theU.S.population, they are only about 17% of Congress. TheUnited Statesranks 90th in the world in terms of women in national legislatures, behind countries such asCuba,China,IraqandAfghanistan. Heading into the 2012 election, there seems to not only be an absence of female leadership, but some discouraging trends, like that 17% – last year, for the first time in 30 years, the percentage of women in the House of Representatives actually went down.

Recently I had the opportunity to talk to some pioneering and influential women – political leaders, business executives, publishers and thinkers – and I asked them why they believe women have made such little momentum inWashingtonjust four years after having a near presidential contender – and what we can do to get more women into the pipeline of political leadership.

Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic leader, first female Speaker of the House

“As I’ve said before, you can lose the election but win the campaign, because even by running you’ve asserted your strength and authority. In her historic run for president, Hillary Clinton certainly helped crack what I like to call the ‘marble ceiling,’ which has largely kept women from the halls of power for hundreds of years.

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