Iowa House Democrats Make History, Electing Leadership Team Comprised of Women
DES MOINES, Iowa — Nearly 30% of state lawmakers in Iowa are women, which is almost a 10% jump from 20 years ago.
Now, for the first time in Iowa’s history, House Democrats are electing an all female leadership team.
State Rep. Amy Nielsen said there are now “four assistant leaders, our whip and our minority leader and we also have a female member from our legislative black caucus Ruth Ann Gaines is in our extended leadership so we’ve got seven women up front and center in the democratic caucus in the house and I’m excited to see what we are going to do.”
Iowa women are also making strides in the Iowa Senate, electing Republican Amy Sinclair as the Senate President.
However, historically, leadership positions haven’t always been a given for Iowa women.
Iowa State University (ISU) Political Science Professor Karen Kedrowski said, “in the 1970’s when Minette Doderer became the first female to serve in the President Pro Temp office in the Iowa Senate, the senators wanted to actually strip that position of power, and essentially she had to protest and point out the sexism of, you know, giving her a position that was more honorary and with less institutional power than what you see for others.”