President Obama spoke at a forum on women and the economy today, following the White House release of a 65-page report (PDF) on the same topic this morning. In a speech that played on the public arguments about a GOP’s “war on women,” the President took the opportunity to argue in front of the largely-female audience that Congress would be more productive if there were more women legislators.
“Fewer than 20 percent of the seats in Congress are occupied by women. Is it possible that Congress would get more done if there were more women in congress?” he asked. “I think it’s fair to say: That is almost guaranteed.” Watch it:
President Obama’s suggestion isn’t new, but it is valid. Women account for only a small fraction — about 15 percent — of Congress, though they make up more than half of the population. Sadly, the proportion of females in Congress has slipped more recently:
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In a response to the speech, Jess McIntosh, a spokesperson for the Democratic advocacy group EMILY’s List, told ThinkProgress that the group agrees with the President on the necessity of more women legislators. “Democratic women are known for getting things done,” McIntosh said. “They’re effective legislators who focus on the things that matter, work well with others, and put women and families first. This GOP-led Congress seems hell-bent on rolling back the clock and restricting our freedoms. It’s pretty clear that if we replace some of these guys with Democratic women, we’ll make more progress.”