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Sat May 18, 2019, 04:30 PM

The nation's first majority-female legislature is currently meeting in Nevada. [View all]

The nation’s first majority-female legislature is currently meeting in Nevada. Carson City may never be the same.


CARSON CITY, Nev. — She didn’t plan to say it. Yvanna Cancela, a newly elected Democrat in the Nevada Senate, didn’t want to “sound crass.” But when a Republican colleague defended a century-old law requiring doctors to ask women seeking abortions whether they’re married, Cancela couldn’t help firing back.

“A man is not asked his marital status before he gets a vasectomy,” she countered — and the packed hearing room fell silent.

Since Nevada seated the nation’s first majority-female state legislature in January, the male old guard has been shaken up by the perspectives of female lawmakers. Bills prioritizing women’s health and safety have soared to the top of the agenda. Mounting reports of sexual harassment have led one male lawmaker to resign. And policy debates long dominated by men, including prison reform and gun safety, are yielding to female voices.

Cancela, 32, is part of the wave of women elected by both parties in November, many of them younger than 40. Today, women hold the majority with 23 seats in the Assembly and 10 in the Senate, or a combined 52 percent.

No other legislature has achieved that milestone in U.S. history. Only Colorado comes close, with women constituting 47 percent of its legislators. In Congress, just one in four lawmakers is a woman. And in Alabama, which just enacted an almost complete ban on abortion, women make up just 15 percent of lawmakers.

The female majority is having a huge effect: More than 17 pending bills deal with sexual assault, sex trafficking and sexual misconduct, with some measures aimed at making it easier to prosecute offenders. Bills to ban child marriage and examine the causes of maternal mortality are also on the docket.

“I can say with 100 percent certainty that we wouldn’t have had these conversations" a few years ago, said Assembly Majority Leader Teresa Benitez-Thompson (D). "None of these bills would have seen the light of day.”

The laws coming out of Nevada are a bit different than what we've seen in some other states recently.

That last graph should be a motivating wake up call to those who still believe USA is so progressive on women's issues like the GOP keep telling us. There are a lot of developing countries with way more female legislators.

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Reply The nation's first majority-female legislature is currently meeting in Nevada. [View all]
IronLionZion May 2019 OP
lunatica May 2019 #1
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 2019 #2
rollin74 May 2019 #3
IronLionZion May 2019 #4
rollin74 May 2019 #5
pecosbob May 2019 #6