Tarantino: Combating gender bias is crucial in government

Submitted by Shira Tarantino, Stamford

I am a Stamford resident who cares about representation in government. As Marian Wright Edelman, an American activist for children’s rights, said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” More specifically, when it comes to gender, women comprised more than half the state of Connecticut – but only 37% of our state legislature seats are held by women, according to the Report of the Connecticut Women’s Centennial Suffrage Commission – CT Secretary of the State’s Office. Our state government shows a glaring gender deficiency.

When leadership consists of a group of diverse representatives, new ideas and perspectives are brought to the table, helping to better problem-solve and shape a government that works for the people. The lived-life experience is equally as valuable as work experience, and together, they form excellence in leadership. For example, local advocate Trevor Crow, who is currently running for CT State Senate District 36, embodies grit, determination, and a proven record of facing challenges boldly and head-on. As a woman who’s raised her children while developing a successful business, her capacity for hard work and strong results is unquestionable.

Having richer gender diversity in our CT State Legislature is crucial in combating implicit gender bias, fostering creativity and ensuring that multiple ideas are brought to the table so that the varied needs of the population are fully understood and addressed.

This inclusive approach enhances the quality of decision-making and consideration of areas where gender or sex may play a role: District 36 candidate Trevor Crow champions issues such as abortion care, contraception, same-sex marriage, community safety, economic prosperity, child care, early childhood education, and more, reflecting the community’s diverse perspectives on issues where women are the direct conduit.

A battle-tested campaigner who came just 89 votes of winning in the last election, Trevor Crow is not only heading into this year’s primary with greater momentum, but is bringing her lived-life experience with her.

More women leaders equals freedom. A National Partnership report released in November 2023 entitled, “Democracy and Abortion Access, State Legislatures’ Lack of Representation Threatens Freedoms” found that states with a higher percentage of women legislators are more likely to adopt policies that provide abortion protections than states with a lower percentage of women legislators.

If Democratic voters in District 36 truly believe in the values of modeling an “inclusive and resilient Democracy,” as phrased by the Connecticut Democratic Party in its platform, residents will make purposeful voting decisions to consider – and vote for – qualified, hard-working women leaders like Trevor Crow.

Shira Tarantino
Stamford, CT