President Donald Trump's election has fueled an increase in the number of young women interested in running for office and participating in training programs, The Christian Science Monitor reported.
The spike is attributed to women newly energized by issues of women's health and reproductive rights, the environment, immigration, and education – and inspired by Trump's White House victory despite his lack of political experience, according to the Monitor.
"We have never seen this kind of interest in running for office," Andrea Dew Steele, president and founder of Emerge America told the Monitor.
The organization offers six-month training courses in 17 states for Democratic women interested in running for office.
"We spend a lot of time begging women to run for office," she said. "This is unusual: to get women interested without trying to recruit them with numerous conversations."
Emerge America, which launched in 2005, has had an average increase in applications of 87 percent over the past year, the Monitor reported.
Emily's List, an organization that helps pro-choice Democratic women win elective office, has heard from more than 4,000 women interested in running for office since Election Day – four times more women than had expressed interest in the previous 22 months combined, the Monitor reported.
Another group, Run for Something, launched the day after Inauguration Day, has recruited more than 3,000 women and men under age 35 to run for state or local office; more than half are women, the Monitor reported.
"The model of what a politician looks like has expanded for better and worse, and we should take advantage of that for the better," Amanda Litman, former email director for the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign and co-founder of Run for Something, told the Monitor.
Women make up only 19 percent of members of Congress, 25 percent of state legislators, and 8 percent of governors, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.
"There isn't a bias at the ballot box where women win less," Kelly Dittmar, a scholar at the center and an assistant political science professor at Rutgers University – but rather getting women to run at all.
"So, if today's political energy results in more women running for office, that will really address one of the primary problems we have had in increasing the number of women in office."
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