Mississippi is one of just two states to never elect a female congressman, senator, or governor. A new initiative is underway to recruit more women to run for political office.
Called Ready To Run, the goal is to provide women with the skills, knowledge, and encouragement to get involved in the political process.
The series of day long educational sessions is aimed at women like Greta Kemp, a 30 year old attorney from Jackson who is considering a run for the state legislature.
"I was born and raised and got my education in Mississippi. I feel like I have an aptitude for public service. And I feel like its time that women have a greater voice in state politics," Kemp said.
Roughly 15-percent of the Mississippi House and Senate are women, even though the state is more than half female.
The program is sponsored by the Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women.
Former state Senator Neely Carlton says often women don't seem themselves as politicians despite being very involved in the community.
"They tremendous skills. They have worked on PTOs. They have worked on civic projects. They have worked in their church organizations. And if they give themselves credit for that skill set, they will realize those are the same skill sets that help people run for public office," Carlton said.
Gloria Turnipseed, a first term Winston County Supervisor considering running for re-election, says its difficult to enter a world so heavily dominated by males.
"I really feel good to know that I am out here trying to help someone. Because I believe in working with everybody to make a difference in the community as well as my county," Turnipseed said.
Leaders of the Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women hope that if women see other women in political roles it will change the perception that it is a men's only club.