Women lost ground in the Iowa Legislature this election. There will be 25 women serving in the Iowa House when it convenes in January and five women will serve in the Senate. There were six female Senators for the past two years. Charlotte Nelson of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women says while there are more women voters than men in Iowa and nationwide, there are fewer women in political roles. Nelson says the number of women in the Iowa Legislature is not that different from the national average. She says women have an equal chance of winning if they do run for office, but there are fewer women willing to put their names on the ballot. “We do need more women to run and we need the encouragement for women to run by both parties,” Nelson says. She says often women, particularly younger women, do not run because they are the primary caregiver for their children, and the Legislature does not easily allow them to balance career and childcare. Nelson says one state Representative — Janet Peterson — is the mother of two young children, but she can juggle hours at the statehouse and the care of her kids because she lives in Des Moines.
You are here: / / Number of women in legislature drops