In our opinion: Utah can do more to encourage women in politics

Douglas C. Pizac, Associated Press

FILE – In this May 8, 2004, file photo, Utah Gov. Olene Smith Walker speaks at the state Republican convention in Sandy, Utah. Since it became a state in 1896, Utah has had just one female governor–Republican Walker.

In 1895, Utah was the model for female enfranchisement nationwide; more recently, however, the state has struggled to support women in the political arena. Grass-roots efforts aiming to change that deserve recognition and support.

Today, Utah ranks in the bottom quintile for female representation in government, coming in 49th out of 50th in recent years. Additionally, Utah has one of the lowest female voter turnouts in the country. In the 16 years from 1996 to 2012, Utah’s ranking for the percentage of women voting dropped 45 spots.

Existing research reveals women are less likely to get involved politically when they have a limited understanding of governmental functions. Salt Lake City Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton knows this and believes that as an elected official she has an obligation to do something about it.

To address this problem, she hosted a nonpartisan, womens-only educational presentation last week in her home titled “What’s What in Gov’t,” which touched on…


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.