Women In La. Legislature 3rd Lowest Number In Nation

Aug 8, 2018

FISCAL CLIFF AVERTED - Rep. Paula Davis (R-Baton Rouge) presented a tax compromise bill during the last special session.
Credit Courtesy: La. House of Representatives

WOMEN IN POLITICS -  More women are running for political office in the United States than ever before.  But–according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, Women make up about 15% of Louisiana’s State Legislature. That’s the third lowest percentage in the country. And when it comes to promoting policies that affect children and families… women legislators are more likely to champion those causes than their male counterparts. Mirya Holman is associate professor of political science at Tulane University;  she tells Baton Rouge Public Radio WRKF  the fewer women in state legislature, the less likely those policies will be taken up.

Credit Courtesy: Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus

Holman says "We can think about things like domestic violence legislation, for example. We know that women in elected office are more likely to consider that an important policy issue and pursue policy solutions to domestic violence problems."   

Recently, Louisiana has started seeing the emergence of groups specifically focused on electing women to political office.  Senator Beth Mizell (R-Franklinton), serves as  chair for the Louisiana Women’s legislative caucus. “
The goal of the caucus is to actually promote women in the Legislature and women’s issues for the state of Louisiana," explained Mizell. "So that we’re not just this rare minority that is - I don’t want to say we’re pacified - but sometimes we are seen as a segment rather than - the majority of the state are women.” 

Credit Courtesy: Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus

According to 2017 US census estimates, 51% of Louisiana’s population is female.  AND it’s worth noting that women were a big part in the recent special legislative sessions… remember the compromise tax bill that was passed in June?  It was championed by Representative Paula Davis, Republican from Baton Rouge.