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Democratic Party Falls Short of Representing Women at Convention in Boston

Women politicians have been noticeably underrepresented this week at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, with opportunities to speak or fulfill ceremonial duties given mostly to men. Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation and leader in the ongoing fight to ensure that the Democratic party provides opportunities for women, told The Hartford Journal, “I looked at this list [of speakers] and said, ‘I don’t understand.'” This follows the disappointment of having no women seriously considered to be Senator John Kerry’s running mate, though there are several formidable female politicians with decades of political experience and clout. The current tactic of the Democratic party, according to The Hartford Journal, is to reach beyond its assumed base and appeal to more male voters. With this approach, Kerry risks creating apathy among his loyal constituency of women voters. The presidential candidate is also confusing women voters with his recent statements on abortion as he tries to distance himself from the discussion of reproductive rights. While his track record in congress exhibits his dedication to a woman’s right to choose, Kerry has repeatedly talked to the press about his personal objection to the procedure. In 2003, Kerry missed 11 of 14 votes on abortion-related issues, reports the Los Angeles Times. JOIN the Feminist Majority

Sources:

The Hartford Journal, 7/26/04; Los Angeles Times, 7/26/04