Congresswoman Kaptur said this morning that Northern Ohio has a strong legacy of elevating women to positions of political leadership and lauded the fact that almost 100 women will be members of the 113th Congress, which convenes in January.
 
Congresswoman Kaptur appeared as a guest on the acclaimed “Sound of Ideas” program on WCPN radio in Cleveland.
 
Congresswoman Kaptur, having won re-election last week, will start her sixteenth term in Congress next year.  She is the senior woman in the U.S. House of Representatives and ranks second all-time in seniority among women Members.
 
“Women were pivotal in the victory of President Obama, especially in Ohio,” said Congresswoman Kaptur, who joined Dr. Barbara Palmer, a political science professor at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea and Bay Village Mayor Deborah Sutherland on the program.
 
Dr. Palmer, an expert on women in Congress, said 2012 was “the year of the woman” in American politics. Women increased their numbers in the U.S. Senate to 20 and in the U.S. House to 78.  Dr. Palmer claimed the media has not adequately reported the significance of women’s gains in the just-concluded elections.
 
Mayor Sutherland said women “approach things in a much different way” than men, displaying less aggressiveness and more willingness to compromise. A Republican, she said leaders in her party must re-examine the demographic changes in America, “soften their stance, and compromise.”
 
Congresswoman Kaptur said women seem better able to avoid the hyper-partisanship that often defines Congress and Washington, D.C. 
 
“Men come up to me (on the House floor) and say, ‘You know what? Women work on what’s important.’ “  Overall, people have more faith in women … “ said Congresswoman Kaptur.
 
Palmer and Sutherland both asserted that both major parties are falling short in recruiting female candidates.