ATLANTA – Georgia’s percentage of women legislators has increased to 18th in the nation, according to research for 2021 by the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University.
“After our endorsed women FLIPped four seats in November, the highest number for any state in the nation, we are thrilled with this higher state ranking,” said Laura Register, board chair for Georgia WIN List, a Political Action Committee which has worked for 20 years to “Change the Face of Power” in Georgia by electing pro-choice Democratic women to the Georgia General Assembly and statewide office. “Ten of our newly elected women took office earlier this week, joining 35 longer serving women, 20 of whom prevailed during often hard-fought 2020 campaigns.”
In 2018, a record-setting ten Georgia women FLIPped legislative seats and all those 2018 victories were protected in 2020, Register noted. For 20 years, Georgia WIN List has helped elect more than 80 women to the General Assembly. The group also works to recruit and train candidates and promotes the work of women in office with a heavy social media presence capturing more than one million impressions during 2020.
In Georgia, 32.6 percent of the 236 legislators are women. Democratic women outnumber their Republican colleagues by a 3.3 to one margin, Ms. Register noted. The Georgia percentage of women legislators has steadily increased during the past 21 years. Georgia ranked 23rd in the nation in 2020, according to CAWP figures. The national average for women in state legislatures is 30.8 percent – with 2,276 women legislators among the 7,383 state legislators nationwide, according to the CAWP. Congress currently has 26.9 percent women members.
Georgia leads the nation for both the number of Black women holding legislative seats and the percentage of Black women, according to current CAWP figures. There are 36 Black women and three other women of color among the 78 women currently serving in the Georgia General Assembly. Further, two of Georgia’s four congresswomen are Black. Currently, Georgia has three Democratic women and one Republican woman in Congress, a first for a state which until this year had never before sent more than one woman to Congress at any given time.
“We are confident as we continue to elect more women and give them the opportunity to truly influence policy, we will see Georgia’s low national rankings for many quality-of-life issues improve. Currently, our state is dead last for the percentage of COVID vaccines distributed at a time when our COVID case numbers, deaths and hospitalizations are spiraling upwards. Having more “women in charge” of policy decisions is key to a brighter Georgia future,” she said.
When Georgia WIN List founders first met in 1999, the state had 18.6 percent women legislators and ranked 32nd in the nation based on CAWP figures, Register said. In 1999, Democratic women outnumbered their Republican colleagues 2.6 to one. For the past several years, Georgia had led Southern states for the percentage of women legislators, but following the election of a dozen new women in 2020, Florida vaulted ahead, rising to 14th in the national rankings. However, by contrast, Democratic women in Florida outnumber their Republican colleagues by only 1.3 to one as compared to the 3.3 to 1 figure in Georgia.
“The fact Georgia voted BLUE for the Biden/Harris ticket and then elected two United States Senators just last week with even higher margins of victory gives us great hope for finishing the job of turning Georgia BLUE in 2022! We hope to FLIP more seats and elect more women – especially at the statewide level,” Ms. Register said. “We have trained hundreds of women in recent years and already the interest in our training sessions this year is showing a spike. We will continue to ‘Change the Face of Power’ for many years to come. The women in our network stand ready to create a better state for the next generation with the passage of progressive policy initiatives.”
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For Immediate Release
Melita Easters, Executive Director – 404-408-9863 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Amber Schreiner, Communications Director – 706-255-6651 or email@example.com