For the first time, women are a majority of Virginia's Cabinet. With a record number of women running for office in 2018, this could be a glimpse of the future.
Women make up more than half of Virginia’s population, and for the first time in the state’s history, they will soon make up the majority of newly-elected Gov. Ralph Northam’s Cabinet.
Of the 15 Cabinet positions, Northam has nominated eight women to fill them. The positions must be approved by the state legislature, but the moment is still historic.
Northam reflected on his intentional effort to create a Cabinet that better mirrors the population of his state, saying, “Our commonwealths diversity is our strength, why is why I made a commitment to building a cabinet that reflects it.”
“Im honored to have this formidable group of experienced, accomplished female leaders joining me in working to build a Virginia that works for everyone, no matter who you are, no matter where you live,” he continued.
Virginia’s House of Delegates will also include more women, thanks in large part to historic wins by Democrats across the state in November 2017. Women will now comprise 29 seats in the 100-person body, up from 17 in the last session.
And this increased foothold women gained in Virginia is a trend that could be mirrored nationwide in the 2018 midterm election.
More than 25,000 women have contacted EMILY’s List about running for office since the 2016 election.
As a point of comparison, 920 women contacted EMILY’s List in 2015 and 2016.
Women are signing up to run for offices from city council to the U.S. Senate in record numbers. After a year of a Trump administration that clearly has no respect for women, and stories of sexual harassment dominating the news, many women are simply fed up with men abusing their positions of power.
“Rather than back down, women marched, resisted, and took action,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List. “These women will be the new face of politics and of power in this country.”
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is often asked when there will be enough women on the Supreme Court. Her reply: “My answer is when there are nine.”
The same logic applies to other positions of power as well.
When will there be enough women senators?
When there are 100.
When will there be enough women representatives?
When there are 435.
When will there be enough women governors?
When there are 50.
When will there be enough women presidents?
Let’s start with one and see where that takes us.
Women from coast to coast are working to make this a reality. A majority of women in Virginia’s Cabinet is a good start.
One day, it won’t be a news story when a group of people who make up more than half the population holds more than half the positions of power.
In November 2018, voters could help bring that dream closer to reality.