- Associated Press - Saturday, March 18, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Women’s Network is working to increase the number of female lawmakers in the Legislature.

North Dakota ranks as one of the states with the lowest number of female legislators in the Midwest, KXMB (https://bit.ly/2ml1S5r) reported.

More than 150 women from across the state gathered together on March 13 and joined the “WE Rise” movement to learn about the legislative system.

“We are grossly underrepresented in the Legislature, and we cannot possibly speak to women’s issues and women’s concerns if we don’t have a seat at the table,” said Nikki Berg Burin, of Grand Forks.

Rep. Kathy Hogan said women shouldn’t be the minority in North Dakota Legislature.

“Women bring different perspective. What we really bring is a sense of collaboration, and a willingness to work across party lines, across gender lines,” she said.

Hogan is one of three women who make up an all-female legislative team for the District 21 in Fargo.

“We have the ability, and we need to have an equal balance,” said Hogan.

Women make up 24.8 percent of all state legislators nationwide. In North Dakota, 18.4 percent of statewide offices are held by women.

“We’d love to see that number go up, and the first step in that process is just getting familiar with how it all works,” said Caitlin McDonald of the North Dakota Women’s Network.

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Information from: KXMB-TV, https://www.kxnet.com

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