While Washington State is often highlighted for its female governor and two female senators, the focus has shifted to increase women representation in the statehouse.
SEATTLE – The 1992 election was dubbed the “Year of the Woman,” when Anita Hill’s treatment while testifying in the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, galvanized a movement. The all-male committee highlighted the dominance of men in the Senate, and women responded — that year, 24 new women were elected into the House of Representatives and five to the Senate, including Washington’s Patty Murray.
That uptick in female elected officials also made its way into the statehouse. In Washington, after the 1992 election, women represented 40% of the state legislature — more than any other state.
With that history in mind, and an outgoing female governor and two female senators, you’d think Washington State would be the poster child for states that represent women. But if you peek behind the curtain, you see that female representation in the state legislature has been slowly eroding since its apex in the early 1990s. Today, it stands at 32%.More