Study Puts SC Near Bottom of Nation in Female Representation in State Government
A new report shows women are drastically underrepresented in elected offices even though they make up a majority of the state’s population.
At the South Carolina State House, women hold less than 15 percent of seats in the legislature.
That’s a 3 percent drop from last year after five female lawmakers lost their seats last November.
That also puts South Carolina 47th in the nation when it comes to female representation at state houses.
Current lawmakers say women are just as likely to win seats as male candidates but they’re less likely to be asked to run or believe they’re qualified enough.
“As women, we bring a different skillset,” Beth Bernstein (D – Richland) said. “Me, personally, I think in the legislature and our experiences as women are different from those of men, and we need to make sure our voice is heard.”
Groups like the multi-partisan “Women in Leadership” organization are focused on recruiting, training and providing resources for women running for office in South Carolina.
They say last year, they worked with more than 800 women across the state who were interested in running and want to bring that number up this year.