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Posted: Tuesday, 08 July 2014 6:29AM

Louisiana lacks for legislative ladies



A new survey of state legislatures across the country from Rutgers University finds Louisiana has the fewest women by percentage in its state legislature.

According to the report from the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, 12.5 percent of the Louisiana legislature is female. The national average is 24.2 percent.

Christine Day, a professor of political science at the University of New Orleans, doesn't believe that low rate of female representation is a result of voter sexism, but there may be hurdles when it comes to attracting campaign donors.

"There's been some research showing that women do have a harder time raising money," said Day. "(They) are less likely to have the kinds of business connections that can help raise that early money."

Day points out that in 1996, voters sent Mary Landrieu to the U.S. Senate, and this was after Landrieu had served in the statewide elective office of treasurer earlier in that decade. And from 2004-2008, Kathleen Blanco served as the state's first female governor, after two terms as lieutenant governor.

Day expects the number of women in politics in Louisiana will grow.

"The more women role models in elective office there are," she said, " the more likely young women and girls are to start thinking about politics as a profession they could enter as well."

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Locations : Louisiana
People : Christine DayKathleen BlancoMary Landrieu
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