Appalachian women are the bedrock of eastern Kentucky families and communities. Self-starters with "can-do" attitudes, Appalachian women know how to take initiative because they have done it all their lives; as business owners, farmers, teachers, healthcare professionals, lawyers, mothers, and more. But for all they do to uplift their communities, their presence is not as visible in the Kentucky legislature.
In the last decade, Kentucky Democratic women have made great strides across the Commonwealth, yet numbers are still shy of gender parity. For the 2020 Legislative Session, 18 of the 100 state House seats will be filled by Democratic women. In the Senate, Democratic women will fill 2 of the 38 seats. However, rural Democrats have not been as successful as their urban counterparts: in Kentucky Appalachian communities, only 4 House seats are held by Democratic women, and only one seat in the Senate.
Gender parity is what we want. Envisioning a legislature with less divisiveness, more compromise, and effective legislative solutions. With more women, we see a brighter present and future for our families, friends, and communities; a government that honors a region of profound beauty, bountiful resources, and a rich history of perseverance.
It's time women had a fair say in the discussion our livelihoods. Women will be heard, as long as they get to Frankfort.