In 2010, Jean Lloyd Jones (D) and I (R), both former Iowa State Senators, recognized the need for increased political participation by women, and understood from experience the unique challenges faced by women seeking office. We worked to form partnerships with other influential women throughout Iowa and created 50-50 in 2020, a bi-partisan, issue-neutral organization which assists women in running for office.
Although Iowa women make up 53% of the registered voters and turn out to vote in higher percentages than men only 23.3% or 35 out of 150 seats in the Iowa Legislature are held by women. Iowa has never elected a female governor nor sent a woman to Washington as U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative.
Political equity is a matter of fair representation and a more accurate reflection of society as a whole. For reasons too numerous to mention, women have traditionally been reluctant to volunteer for elective office. They need to be asked, coached, mentored and supported throughout the process. Nothing short of an extended, all-out campaign will bring political equity to Iowa.
Women must run for office in much greater numbers if women are to achieve political equity.
This campaign is called 50/50 in 2020, and its specific goals are:
- To reach political equity in the Iowa Legislature by 2020
- 50 women in the House of Representatives
- 25 women in the Senate
- One woman to the U.S. Senate
- Two women to the U.S. House of Representatives
- A woman Governor of Iowa
The year 2020 will be the 100th anniversary of passage of the suffrage amendment, giving women the right to vote. Is it too much to hope that women could achieve political equity in the span of one century?
More information can be found at: 50-50in2020.org