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PNS Daily Newscast - September 21, 2018 


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Woman's Equality Day: Just How Far HAVE We Come in 95 years?

Kristin Garvey, executive director of the Indiana Commission for Women, encourages more women to run for office on the 95th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Credit: Indiana Commission for Women
Kristin Garvey, executive director of the Indiana Commission for Women, encourages more women to run for office on the 95th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Credit: Indiana Commission for Women
August 26, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS - The 19th Amendment was signed 95 years ago today, giving women the right to vote. The law was a powerful springboard for women to become more involved in the political process, said Kristin Garvey, executive director of the Indiana Commission for Women.

While women have made great strides since then, she said, they've fallen by the wayside politically in recent years - at least at the Indiana statehouse.

"It's been a consistent level of about 20 percent of seats in the General Assembly are held by women," she said, "and that hasn't changed in the past eight years."

After the 19th Amendment was adopted in 1920, Julia Nelson of Delaware County became the first woman to serve in the General Assembly as a member of the House of Representatives.

At the current rate of increase, according to the latest Status of Women in the States report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research, Indiana women will earn pay comparable with that of men in 2086. Today, 65 percent of Indiana women are registered to vote, but only about 50 percent voted in the last presidential election.

Garvey encouraged women to seize every opportunity to be heard.

"Not only do women want to be involved in the process, they need to be involved in the process, in the conversation about where they see society and their communities are going," she said. "So it is so important for women to step up."

The "Hoosier Women Speak" initiative was created by the Indiana Commission for Women in 2012 to bring to light the key issues facing woman and assist positive change. Garvey said the commission takes a special interest in health and workplace issues, caregiving, violence against women and leadership in all avenues.

Indiana data is online at statusofwomendata.org.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN