Women in the Minnesota Legislature 2000-2001

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Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Robert Weber, Political Science


After interviewing the majority of the women in the Minnesota Senate, I attempted to determine their perceptions of the legislative process. In my thesis I illustrated the results. My results showed that in the past election women in the Minnesota Senate expressed that being a female candidate was advantageous. Once the women were elected they faced many disadvantages, mostly as a result of the importance of seniority in the legislature. The women interviewed reject the labeling of any issues as 'women's issues'. The female senators also believe that women use different methods than their male colleagues to gain support for their legislative priorities, and have a very clear idea of what the Minnesota Senate would be like if half of the legislature was women. Together as women these senators are politically very diverse, yet feel as though they bring something indispensable to the Minnesota Senate.