Women in Politics in Louisiana State

As the suffrage movement, which started 50 years later in Louisiana also the female political representation in the state and nation started late, only towards the second half of the 20th century.

The firsts women elected to the Louisiana House (there are 105 representatives) were Beatrice Hawthorne Moore and Doris Lindsey Holland only in 1940, 128 years since the state was established. Doris Lindsey Holland served in Louisiana Senate in 1936, when she succeeded after her husband. Only in 1970, a woman was elected to the Louisiana Senate, Virginia Shehee. The Louisiana Senate has 39 Senators.

In 2004, Kathleen Blanco became the 54th Governor of Louisiana, and she was the first female governor of this state (served until 2008, during and after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita).

Municipal female representation started only at the beginning of the 21st century, with the achievement of LaToya Cantrell, who was elected as the mayor of New Orleans in 2018 and still serving.

At the nation level, Rose McConnell Long, served in the US Senate for a year (1936-1937), succeeded after her husband. After her, and till 2019 there were only two more female Senators from Louisiana, Elaine Lucille Edwards who served for 4 months in 1972 and was appointed by her husband who was the Governor and Mary Landrieu who got elected in 1996 and served for 18 years.

Lindy Boggs was elected to the House from Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district, in New Orleans (1973–1991), and the only other female from LA is Catherine Small Long who served between 1985-1987.

This poor attendance of women in the political circles is noticeable in every-day life when for example, women in Louisiana are paid 69 cents for every dollar paid to men and Black women earn just 47 cents compare to white men, amounting to an annual wage gap of more than $15,000. This is the second highest country, with the largest pay gap (based on the data from March 2018 prepared by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), the most recent available).

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