Get the latest on what’s happening at the Action Fund, and our ongoing commentary on the political and policy conversation.

What Happens When Women Legislate?

April 18, 2017

Brittany Bronson’s latest New York Times op/ed explores “What Happens When Women Legislate” – and in a word, it’s YUGE.

“Cheaper tampons. Office breaks to pump breast milk. No co-pay on birth control.

These are not the talking points of a ladies’ happy hour. They are among the State Senate and Assembly bills being considered in the Nevada Legislature. Not only were the bills designed solely with women in mind, they each were sponsored by a female lawmaker.”

“…Although the 2016 presidential election is mourned as a symbolic impasse for women’s progress, it was momentous for female politicians in Nevada, at both the state and the federal level. Many have called President Trump’s election a wake-up call for American women, one that has inspired their increased grass-roots activism and political involvement.

What makes Nevada’s legislature such a leader on gender equality? It isn’t merely that women are turning out on election day:

“A study from the Center for American Women in Politics highlights that the root of gender imparity in political representation does not lie in whether women win races (they do), but in the discrepancy in the amount of men and women who run.”

Studies also show that although female politicians have a wide range of positions, they often are more compassionate, better at working across the aisle and more willing to compromise, qualities intricately bound in successful policymaking.”

Ms. Bronson concludes that “[a]n increased presence of women in elected offices will not only advance gender equity, it will subsequently help men, because women lawmakers are proving to be, across all the issues — women’s or not — more productive lawmakers.”