(Laramie, WY) — A new nonpartisan report from the Wyoming Women’s Foundation and the Equality State Policy Center is the focus of a public discussion next week hosted by the Equality State Policy Center.
The six-page report, “Wyoming Women in Elected Roles,” was prepared by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center at the University of Wyoming. It explains the importance of representation—regardless of political party, and it offers policy recommendations that support electing more women.
The roundtable discussion, “Wyoming Women in Elected Roles,” will take place from 5-6 p.m. on Thursday, March 18, via Zoom. It will feature a number of prominent women who hold or have held elected office in Wyoming.
The event is free and open to the public, and people can register online at https://equalitystate.org/the-peoples-review/ to receive an invitation to join live.
Although women comprise roughly half of Wyoming’s population, they make up a much smaller percentage of elected officials. Currently, just 18 percent of Wyoming legislators are women. Only one in five county commissioners are women, while six of Wyoming’s 23 counties do not have a single female commissioner.
The report explores some of the reasons why women are underrepresented in elected office, structural barriers women face to holding office, as well as possible policy solutions that would make running and serving in office more accessible to women. It also highlights the benefits to everyone of having more women in office.
Jen Simon is the Equality State Policy Center’s senior policy analyst, and director of the Gender Lens Project. She said, “In Nevada and Colorado, we’ve seen the tremendous successes that come from electing more women to public office. Those women have changed the policy conversation and those changes are improving the lives of women and girls.” The same can happen in Wyoming, she said.
“Wyoming Women in Elected Roles” will feature Wyoming State Auditor Kristi Racines, Casper City Councilor Amber Pollock, Minority House Whip Andi Clifford, Rep. Sandy Newsome, and RepresentWomen CEO Cynthia Richie Terrell. Former Representative Sara Burlingame will moderate.