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Senator Obama: Congratulations on your victory. May you live up to the highest and best hopes of your most fervent supporters. May you make this country the better place you have said you want it to be.
Kay Hagan, Jeanne Shaheen: heartiest congratulations upon your respective elections to the United States Senate.
A number of Democratic women with terrific policy positions who were running for House seats have, unfortunately, lost their bids. It appears that Alice Kryzan (NY), Victoria Wulsin (OH), and Lisa Stender (NJ) are among these losers. At the time of this writing, it is less clear how women running in the western states will do.
Even if all women running for the Senate yesterday were to prevail, only one additional woman in the Senate, will be added at best (source). Best case scenario for the house, 5 additional women (source). Governors, no matter what, one fewer woman holding that position (source).
This is not good news for those still hoping to see a woman President any time soon.
Nevertheless, human rights advocates of both genders will now be working to win the fight for full political and economic recognition of women, both in the U.S. and abroad.
President-Elect Obama: What will you be doing to increase representation by women in elected office? Will you support a woman who clearly supports such increased representation to head the DNC? Will you support Senator Clinton for Senate Majority Leader? Will you support a change to the Democratic Party rules that makes for winner-take-all primaries and eliminates caucuses? Will you and Senator Biden support women to fill your Senate seats? Will you create a Presidential Commission on Women?
Will you announce that you will send Congress the Equal Rights Amendment for passage during your first hundred days? Will you be sending Congress a new version of the Lily Ledbetter law and other legislation aimed at eliminating the wage gap between men and women? Will you go on record as opposing the creeping restrictions on women's access to abortion that the Supreme Court's post-Roe jurisprudence allows?
Will you speak out against regimes around the world that deny women the right to the ballot, that force women as a matter of law to wear required garb?
Having won the Presidency, will you, Senator Obama, prove that you are going to join us in the greatest civil rights battle of our time, the fight for full political and economic recognition of women both in the U.S. and abroad?