Mississippi gets D grade for number of women in elected office, report says

Mississippi received a ‘D’ grade for women’s representation in elected offices, according to a new study.

The Gender Parity Index report by RepresentWomen ranked Mississippi 45th in the country regarding women elected to federal, state and local offices.

The score is measured on a weighted scale of 0 (no women in major elected offices) to 100 (women hold all offices).

A GPI score of at least 50 receives an A grade, Mississippi’s GPI score was 11.7, the report said.

“While there were some gains for women this election cycle... we are still very far from gender parity in government,” said Cynthia Richie Terrell, RepresentWomen founder and director.

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith is the first woman to serve in the Senate for Mississippi. However, no woman has ever served as a representative for the state.

Mississippi has never elected a female governor, and only one of the state’s eight elected executive positions are currently held by a woman, the report said.

At the local level, none of Mississippi’s nine cities with a population of 30,000 or more have women serving as mayor.

“Changing rules and systems to create equality is part of the American tradition, and to win gender parity in our lifetimes we must pivot to system reforms that include gender targets,” Terrell said.

Read the full Mississippi report by going to representwomen.org

Britneé Davis is McClatchy’s South Region Digital Producer. The south region includes the Sun Herald, the Telegraph, and the Ledger-Enquirer.