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University of Iowa News Release

 

Jan. 18, 2007

WRAC Sponsors Lecture on Women and Politics Jan. 24

The Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) will sponsor a lecture by Diane Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chatman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, in the Lucas Dodge Room of the Iowa Memorial Union on the University of Iowa campus.

Bystrom's lecture, titled "Unfinished Business: Electing a Woman to Represent Iowa in the U.S. Congress," is presented as part of the Center's year-long "Women's Public Leadership" programming series, and as part of UI's Human Rights Week 2007.

While women account for 51 percent of the U.S. population, less than a quarter of elected officials are women, according to Jessica Hook at WRAC. Eighty-seven women (16.3 percent of total members) serve in the 110th U.S. Congress -- 16 in the Senate, and 71 in the House of Representatives.  According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, Iowa, Mississippi, Delaware, and Vermont are the only states that have not yet sent a woman to serve in the U.S. House or Senate. Also, Iowa has never elected a woman as governor.

Bystrom will address the questions of why are women are underrepresented in the U.S. government and what can be done to improve women's representation at all levels of government. According to Bystrom, "the challenge for organizations wishing to increase the political representation of women is to encourage more women to run for office."

Founded in 1971, the Women's Resource and Action Center is one of the oldest university-based women's centers in the United States. Among its services -- available both to UI students, faculty and staff, and to the general public -- are information and referral, advocacy, support and discussion groups, individual counseling, and a wide variety of educational programs including seminars, workshops, festivals and discussions.

More information about the Center, its services, and its upcoming activities is available on the Web at http://www.uiowa.edu/~wrac.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, or to request a needed accommodation to participate, please call 319-335-1486.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory 319-384-0012, george-mccrory@uiowa.edu; Program: Jessica Hook, 319-335-1486, wrac@uiowa.edu. Writer: Linda Kroon