- Associated Press - Monday, December 12, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia women’s group is asking Gov.-elect Jim Justice for gender equity on the state’s boards and commissions.

Justice’s incoming administration will work with a state legislature made up of 116 men and 18 women, or about 13 percent. That marks the lowest percentage of women in the Legislature since 1984, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported (https://bit.ly/2gyfQTD).

However, the West Virginia Women’s Commission, which offers suggestions to the Legislature and works on encouraging more women to run for office, said if Justice appoints 50 percent women to the boards and commissions the governor is responsible for filling, he will take a step toward solving that problem and ensuring those appointments better reflect their constituents.

Stacy North, chairwoman of the board for the Women’s Commission, said gender equity on boards and commissions would also help get women more involved in government.

“If we want to get women involved in public service, in the Legislature, in the House, in the Senate, in mayor’s races, on county commissions, we need to develop a system that gets women involved in the public arena,” North said.

According to Gov. Earl Tomblin’s spokeswoman Jessica Tice, Tomblin made 1,904 appointments, including 566 women to boards and commission as of Dec. 1. That’s almost 30 percent.

In a statement, Grant Herring, spokesman for Justice’s transition team, said Justice is a “big believer in equal opportunity and advancement for all people” and the governor-elect “wants women from across West Virginia to play a big part in transforming the state by serving in his administration.”


Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.

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