The election of President Donald Trump has inspired thousands of young women to run for political office.
The Christian Science Monitor reported that young, progressive women are “flooding” political training programs, with many motivated by fear of what a Trump presidency means for women’s rights, including access to abortion.
“We have never seen this kind of interest in running for office,” said Andrea Dew Steele, president and founder of Emerge America, an organization that trains Democratic women interested in running for office. “We spend a lot of time begging women to run for office. This is unusual: to get women interested without trying to recruit them with numerous conversations.”
Currently, women are underrepresented in government. According to Rutgers University’s Center for Women and Politics, women only make up 19 percent of Congress members, 25 percent of state legislators, and 8 percent of governors. The most recent U.S. census found that women represent 50.8 percent of Americans.
While more women have shown interest in running for office, Trump’s election also appears to have energized progressives of all genders to get into politics.
According to the Huffington Post, more than 1,000 progressives have signed up to run for office since Trump signed an executive order that temporarily bans people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
“Anyone leading a protest or organizing friends to get to a local airport should think about running for office,” said Amanda Litman, co-founder of Run for Something, a grassroots organization that helps young Democrats run for local and state office. “Trump’s presidency is already inspiring an incredible wave of energy and re-engagement in civic life — running and winning is how we capture that and make it last.”
Sources: Huffington Post, Christian Science Monitor, U.S. Census Bureau / Photo Credit: Anthony Quintano/Flickr