May 11th, 2009
11:59 PM ET

Republican women: A minority in a minority

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/02/budget.bipartisanship/art.capitol2.cnn.jpg]

Erika Lovley

Women make up almost 51 percent of the U.S. population but less than 10 percent of the House and Senate GOP — a gender disconnect that could make the Republicans’ climb back to power even steeper than it would be otherwise.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) notices that she’s part of a shrinking minority every time she heads to the Senate floor for a vote.

Republican women in the House say they feel the problem — literally — when their male colleagues nudge them to the front of GOP press conferences to break up the solid lines of middle-aged white men in neckties.

Indeed, Rep. Kay Granger — the first and only Republican woman to represent Texas in the House — says Republican women have to work to make sure they’re even represented at public events in the first place. “We pass the word to make sure we’re there at this ceremony or that photo-op, because there are fewer of us and we’re spread more thinly,” Granger said. “We’re working in a very successful manner, and we want to make sure that’s shown.”

The numbers make that difficult.


Filed under: 360º Follow • Republicans • Women's Issues
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Ryan

    McCain noticed this and shoved Sarah Palin to the front of his campaign.

    May 12, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  2. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    I am a cradle moderate Republican female in my early forties. I am also from the South. I am far from a minority (at least in the circles where I associate). I have a PhD (so I am not stupid by any means and get what it is to scrap your way to the top in a male-dominated world). My relatives have been public servants for multiple generations on different levels. I have been approached a few times about running locally for public office. While I enjoy working with Republican women in the background, being in office has never been something I want. I have seen what it does to personal lives, to public lives, and to the family at large. In my world, it's family first. I would never willingly subject my loved ones to the debacle of politics in the 21st century. Because so many of us value family before anything else, I would guess that is why so few Republican women are willing to do what Sarah Palin did by skewering her kids in the public limelight.

    May 11, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  3. Sharon

    According to my grandmother in her day all black women that voted were members of the Republican Party to start. But those days are long gone. Now when we listen to CNN and here the one token(africian american) Republican Women we both shake our heads and say; "I wonder if she really believes what shes saying or is this her 15 minutes of fame and road to more television face time. The women is bright,articulate,attractive but very misquided.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  4. Beverly

    The media does not HATE strong conservative women. The just don't
    agree with them. It's ok not to agree ..right?

    May 11, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  5. ttbala

    @Patrick MD

    Grow up Patrick, where do you see strong conservstive women, do you really buy what Ms. Granger is saying "we work in a very successful manner, and what is that they are working on, your conservative successful women had the country for 8 years their successful way of working was to destroy this country, and yet you find this rediculus statement to say "the media hates strong conservative women" PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

    May 11, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  6. Sandra

    As a pro choice Republican woman I would have to agree that most woman tend to be Democrats. Abortion seems to be a big issue for women, that's too bad that the message isn't pro Birth control over pro abortion. Republican is my party of choice. I work hard to earn a living and believe I have the right to keep more of the money I earn and not hand it over the Democrats to throw away.

    May 11, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  7. Laura Esler

    Perhaps that nudge to the front of the GOP press conferences can be utilized to become the new face of the party. You know, the one that allows women to vote.

    May 11, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  8. Patrick MD

    Not hard to understand. Any time that a Conservative woman presents herself in public, she is vilified by the press, every other woman's rights group, and blog. The media hates strong conservative women.

    May 11, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  9. Melissa

    What it looks to me is that the Republican party is still in denial. Its not that they aren't recruiting hard enough, its that their message is wrong. The Republican party's message is one of antiwoman. Everything that a woman would stand for, the Republican party does not. If they don't change their message, they won't recruit anyone.

    May 11, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  10. Cindy

    It's the good ole boy system what do you expect!? It's that way on both sides of the aisle!


    May 11, 2009 at 11:20 am |