As we near the end of the year, many are looking forward to making a change in 2018. The heightened interest in women's issues — from attacks on reproductive rights to the rise of the #MeToo movement to the Women's March — has created increased momentum for women in politics. In fact, 2018 will go on record as a year that a huge number of women plan to run for office.
As of December 7th, it has been reported that 369 women are planning on running for Congress in 2018, Axios writes. This number is impressive for another reason: it's actually the highest number of female candidates planning on running for House seats, ever. This impressive information came from Rutgers University's Center for American Women and Politics.
Though these numbers could change as we get closer to filing deadlines, the reasons behind the staggering increase aren't a mystery. Officials are citing a reaction to Trump's presidential election and the Women's March back in January as a reason why women have been more "energized" and "driven to get involved," as New York Times reports.
The #MeToo movement could also be a strong motivator for a number of women looking to make a change through politics. Over the last several months, the public has seen an increase in conversation surrounding sexual misconduct. In the last year alone, allegations have been made towards Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein and others like Al Franken and Roy Moore have been made public as well. The push to hold those responsible for these acts of sexual misconduct is growing, but some are looking to make a change through legislative channels is increasing as well.
In the last 10 months before Trump's presidency, only 1,000 women showed to an interest in running for office, according to Emily's List President Stephanie Schriock. But since Trump's election? That number has jumped to 22,000.
Anita Dunn, former communications director for President Barack Obama, told the Times that: "The year is ending on this note of women who are stepping forward, finding their voices, in many ways doing the classic 'we are mad as hell and we aren't going to take it anymore'."
Change can be done in a multitude of ways, but for many women, running for office and positions of power is one step closer to creating the change they wish to see in the world.
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