Glass Ceiling Persists in New York Government

Liz Krueger

January 25, 2011

By Rachael Fauss

On Nov. 2, 2010, New Yorkers elected candidates for state government and in doing so, probably unbeknownst to themselves, they reduced the number of female state legislators. Women hold no major leadership posts in the legislature and none of the four statewide offices, although one of New York's U.S. senators -- Kirsten Gillibrand -- is a woman.

New York State gave women the right to vote in 1917 -- three years before the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was enacted -- and has had many leaders for women's suffrage such as Susan B. Anthony and the organizers of the Seneca Falls Convention. Today, however, New York lags behind other states in terms of the representation of women in government, both in elected and appointed positions.

Experts disagree about what accounts for the glass ceiling in New York politics, although, as with everything else in politics, money seems to be one factor....

...Krueger believes that women's unique experiences mean that they view issues differently. "Women are living longer and ending up in poverty at the end of their lives more than men, and women disproportionally end up being primary caretakers for children and aging parents," she said. "The more people that are at the table making decisions that actually come with these diverse personal experiences, the more you will see change in policy and budget decisions about the priorities of the state."

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