Saturday, March 30, 2019

US Women in Office: Critical Mass vs. Critical Actors

Celebrate Women’s History Month by joining us at Roe Jan Community Library for a talk and discussion with Dr. Ellen Boneparth on the difference women make and the significance of the increasing number of women in political office.

In recent years, we’ve often heard about elections as launching the “year of the woman.” Is this hype or are women really changing the U.S. political landscape? When we consider this question, we need to look at two developments. First, are there enough women in office to provide a critical mass that will change the way legislatures function? Second, are newly elected women office holders critical actors ready to make change? If so, what about them makes them different from the past? And, if our 2018 election was, indeed, significant, how and why?

Dr. Boneparth received her PhD from Stanford University and has taught at various instituations including the University of Hawaii, Hilo, where she was also a dean. She was an early pioneer in the study of women in politics and edited one of the first readers in the field. In a second career, she worked as a diplomat in the U.S, Foreign Service and served in Athens, Greece. She now lives in Washington, DC, has written a number of novels, and leads a nonprofit she founded for aid to women in developing countries. She continues to be active in electoral politics.