For International Women's Day, first lady Melania Trump and former first lady/secretary of state/presidential candidate Hillary Clinton found something to agree on.
In remarks acknowledging the annual celebration, both Trump and Clinton highlighted women in public office.
“Throughout history women have contributed in so many ways to our society,” Trump said during a ceremony, after celebrating the record number of women currently serving in Congress. “Women continue to influence the world in so many powerful ways.”
There are 127 women in the Congress sworn in earlier this year, but Louisiana has nothing to directly offer to those ranks. The entire eight-person delegation from the state is male.
Clinton, via Twitter, issued a challenge to people across the country to urge more women to run for office.
"We know that when women run for office, they're elected at the same rate as men," she wrote. "But not as many women run as men—often because people don't ask women to run as often as they ask men."
Louisiana has historically had little female representation on the state and federal level.
The Louisiana Republican Party released a statement Friday, praising female staffers.
"As an organization that is primarily staffed by women, we see first hand the impact conservative women have on our community,” LAGOP Chairman Louis Gurvich said. “Today, let us celebrate the leadership of our LAGOP women. Their remarkable dedication to promoting our conservative principles is leading Louisiana to a more prosperous future.”
In addition to the all-male Congressional ranks, there are no female statewide office holders in Louisiana currently, after no women ran as major candidates for statewide office in 2015.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 15 percent of the members of the Louisiana State House and Senate are women — up from 12.5 percent at the end of the last term in 2015, according to figures tracked by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. The national average is 28.7 percent.
The CAWP has repeatedly marked milestones in recent years for record numbers of female office holders across the country.
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