Real Women Run, a nonpartisan organization seeking to give Utah women the knowledge and tools necessary to run for political office, is organizing a new push to overcome the lack of information about campaign processes—which the organization says is the primary reason women do not run for office.
“I do not believe it is for lack of time, which the answer implies, or that they have to “stay home”,” says Lorie Fowlke, former lawmaker and current Executive Director for Real Women Run, “Women do not run for office because they are not sure of how to go about it.”
Indeed, Utah is ranked 47th in the nation for the ratio of women holding office, the state has no female congresspeople or in statewide office—despite the fact that more women in Utah vote then men. In addition, Real Women Run notes that despite higher voter participation among women, they only represent 45 percent of Utah’s Democratic delegates and only 25 percent of Utah’s Republican delegates. They also point out that women are just as likely to be elected in Utah as men are, but women are far less likely to run in the first place.
In an effort to increase knowledge and encourage women running for office, Real Women Run is offering regular training sessions that teach women the ins and outs of electioneering.
“Typically women do not like to jump into the middle of something without a good idea of what they are getting in to,” says Fowlke, “They want to know what it looks like, what it takes to get there, and what will happen after they start. In other words, they need some training on how to run for office.”
One such training will be taking place all day Saturday, January 11th, at the Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus in Sandy. Noted speakers will include former Governor Olene Walker, Salt Lake County Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn, former Representative Holly Richardson, Salt Lake County Democratic Party Executive Director Lauren Littlefield, and reporters Peg McEntee, Amanda Dickson, and Jennifer Napier-Pearce.