Document 13: Helen Virden, "Are We Measuring Up - In the Ramparts We Build?" 1954, Folder: Individual Liberties/Equal Rights, Box 45, League of Women Voters of Iowa papers, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa.
These facts about women in government in Iowa were collected in 1954 by Helen Virden, the State Chairman of Qualified Women in Policy Making Posts. It is most interesting, perhaps, that these figures were being gathered at all, given the obvious lack of women in governmental positions they display. The compilation of these statistics suggests women's organizations were both aware of and concerned with the lack of proportional representation by women in positions of governmental significance by 1954.
ARE WE MEASURING UP - IN THE RAMPARTS WE BUILD?
Figures don't lie - Here are the figures on Women in Government in Iowa:
U. S. Senators both men Congressman All men State Senators all men State Representatives (108) one woman State Officials (elective) Woman superintendent of schools County Elective Officials: 1953 Official Directory -99 counties Women in office 12 county auditors 20 clerks of court 21 County Treasurers 51 County Recorders 3 county home stewards 24 County superintendents of schools no member of board of supervisors
There are some 55 positions and boards to be appointed by the Governor. The following have no women. (They could not qualify for some)
Comptroller Industrial Commissioner Superintendent of Banking Insurance Comissioner Car Dispatcher Labor Comissioner Commissioner of Health Public Safety Council Accountancy Board Aeronautics Commission Barber Examiners Archetectural Examiners Chiropody Examiners Armory Board Chiropractic Examiners Banking Board Dental Examiners Board of Examiners in Embalmer Examiners basic sciences Medical Examiners Board of Control Optometry Examiners Board of Educational Osteopathic Examiners Examiners Pharmacy Examiners Employment Security Commission State Printing Board Board of Engineering Examiners Real Estate Commission State Board of Health Soil Conservation Commission State Highway Commission Tax Commission Iowa Development Comm. Commission of Uniform State Laws Liquor Control Comm. Watchmaking Examiners Merit System Council World War II Service Mine Inspectors Compensation Board
We definitely feel that a number of women are well qualified to serve on some of these boards.
Women have Representation of the following boards:
Commission for the Blind - 1 out of three Conservation Commission 1 out of seven Board of Education 2 out of 9 Curators -St. Historical Society 7 out of 9 Hospital Advisory Council no record Cosmetology Examiners 3 women Board of Parole 1 out of 3 Nurse Examiners 5 women Social Welfare Board 1 out of 3
The Governor appointed as his secretary a woman
Clerk of Supreme Court a woman Research Analyst a woman Secretary of State none Auditor of State 2 women examiners (out of about 60 Treasurer of State all auditors and investigators are men Attorney General 8 - all men Secretary of Agriculture About 80 important appointments (Women not qualified for some) All filled by men, 1 woman cashier replaced by man in 1952 Superintendent of Banking 23 major appointments all filled by men State Tax Commission Secretary, 6 Divisions, Offices located over state, auditors, inspectors, etc. all filled by men 165 appointments
We have not included clerks, stenographers or minor appointments but only the larger boards and commissions. For information about the "List of Employees" is available from the State Printing Board.
Many Business and Professional Women are eminently qualified for many of these appointments. Let us all work for more Women in Government.
Helen Virden State Chairman Qualified Women in Policy Making Posts
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