Mississippi ranks 48th in the nation for the number of women in its legislative ranks according to The Ascend Fund. The non-partisan, organization out of Seattle, announced its providing grants to recruit women to run for state legislative seats, in 2022.
Out of 174 members in the Mississippi legislature, only 27 are women according to statistics providing by the state capitol.
A project spearheaded by the non-profit Ascend Fund is offering grants to Mississippi organizations to recruit women to run for the state legislature. Abbie Hodgson, the fund's director, believes critical policy decisions are being made and women govern differently than men.
"You see that in their willingness and ability to reach across the aisle, their more likely to seek compromise and find bi-partisan solutions. Additionally they're more likely to advocate for policies that benefit women, children and families," said Hodgson.
Hodgson says they'll provide grants that total $180,000 to five non-partisan, non-profit organizations. They're seeking applications from groups that work with women, offer leadership development or have an interest. Christy Wheeler with the League of Women Voters of Mississippi says grants will help because some women have shied away from politics.
"I think in Mississippi, that a lot of it has to do with tradition and that a woman's place is not in the political arena. That conservative viewpoint is changing so that more women are thinking about the legislature," said Wheeler.
Abbie Hodgson adds among the goals for the organizations that receive the grants, will be to identify barriers and build coalitions.
Interested organizations can view the request for proposals and apply at: www.theascendfund.org/RFP. The deadline to apply is August 13, 2021.