Women Less Hesitant To Take The Plunge Into Politics

By Jeff Neumeyer

December 2, 2010 Updated Dec 2, 2010 at 7:18 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Thursday’s announcement that Fort Wayne City Council Member Liz Brown will run for mayor in 2011 is a big deal in local politics, because the city has never had a woman elected mayor.

An IPFW political science professor who tracks statistics about women in politics says women running for elected office is a good thing on a number of fronts.

Professor Susan Hannah says she believes it's a natural next step in a country where women are expanding their sphere of influence in a variety of arenas.

When Allen County Council President Paula Hughes jumped in the mayor's race in September, she followed in the footsteps of Linda Buskirk, who ran unsuccessful mayoral campaigns in 1999 and 2003.

Nationally, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin have set examples for other women.

Hannah says women are realizing there's a benefit to the entire gender when they run and win.

Susan Hannah, Ph.D./IPFW Political Science Professor: " Women's economic lives, health lives, education lives, personal lives, are greatly effected by public policy, and women in elected office will champion, speak for, advance some of those issues."

Hannah says women mayors have been instrumental in getting tougher domestic violence policies in place in several locales across the nation.

We’ll know if Fort Wayne gets a female mayor in eleven months.

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