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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

Hoosier women underrepresented in political office

Indiana has received a D grade for its representation of women in elected office, according to a recent report by Representation2020.

In the report, Indiana received a score of 16.4 on the 2017 Gender Parity Index, compared with an average score of 18.6 for the U.S. as a whole. Indiana’s score dropped, falling from its 2015 score of 18.7.

Indiana was ranked 32 in the country, trailing behind states like Arizona, California and Hawaii. States with the lowest scores in the country included Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky.

The GPI was calculated by tallying recent elections at local, state and national levels that placed women in office. Scores range from a zero for women holding no elected offices to 100 for women holding every elected office. The ideal score is a 50, which represents gender parity in elected office, according to the report.

Only two of Indiana’s nine House representatives are women and Indiana has never had a female senator in the United States Senate. No female governor has ever been elected in Indiana. Only one of the 31 cities in Indiana with a population over 30,000 has a female mayor.

Women also represent 19 percent of Indiana state legislators, a number that has not increased since 1993, according to the report.

However, women occupy four of the six executive offices in Indiana. These women are Suzanne Crouch as lieutenant governor, Connie Larson as secretary of state, Kelly Mitchell as treasurer and Tera Klutz as auditor.

Representation2020 is a project of Fairvote, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates for electoral reform in American elections.

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