2013: The year of the elected woman?

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Anyone following election coverage this week undoubtedly heard about gender issues. Pundits were quick to comment on what they see as the gender gap in the GOP. Debates on women’s rights and abortion are not new to the Republican Party, but this fall there were unbelievable comments from right-wing candidates stoking the fires. Republican soul-searching, as the Boston Herald and many other media outlets are calling it, has already started.

The other important gender issue coming out of the election is the record high number of women now serving in prominent elected positions. Many newspapers, such as the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, had post-election front-page articles on the new level of success for women politicians. The U.S. Senate will now include 20 women, the most ever. As a Washington Post pictorial and the Times article point out, the election of so many Democratic women also reflects a gender gap in the party of Lincoln.

In 2013 the women elected to office this week start their new terms. The year also will bring speculation on the fate of women and the Republican Party, as well as who might make a presidential run in 2016. Does the name Hillary Clinton sound familiar? In light of this, GJR is preparing an in-depth look at media coverage of women and politics for the Winter 2013 issue.

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