Commentary

Some in the Idaho GOP threaten the rights of women

We do not grow this party by shutting out Republican Women, Young Republicans and College Republicans, writes guest columnist Tracey Wasden.

January 25, 2023 4:00 am
The Idaho Republican Party logo

The Idaho Republican Party logo hangs outside the door to the Idaho Republican Party primary celebration on May 17, 2022. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

There is a concerted effort among leadership and members of the Idaho GOP to stifle the voices of women by removing the president of the Idaho Federation of Republican Women from being a member of the GOP Executive Committee. The IFRW president would not be allowed to vote on state party matters. They also want to remove representatives of the College Republicans and the Young Republicans from the Executive Committee.

In 1896, just six years after Idaho became a state, Idaho women obtained the right to vote. Idaho was the fourth state to grant women that right. Idaho was ahead of its time.  

Proposed rule would strip Idaho Republican women, youth of member votes on state committee

Women have served on the Idaho GOP Executive Committee since 1972. At that time Idaho was not considered a “red” state. During the ensuing 50 years, Republican women have helped change the political landscape. Republican Women have earned, and deserve, a seat at the table, a voice and a vote, and membership on the Idaho GOP Executive Committee.

One might ask, why would so many in the GOP, and particularly those in GOP leadership, want to take away the voice and vote of Republican Women? Perhaps they don’t want women to have a voice.

For example, they argue women are simply losing a vote, but their voices will still be heard. NONSENSE. At the Rules Committee meeting, where this was discussed and voted on, I stood for more than 20 minutes to address the committee.  The chairman refused to acknowledge me, let alone let me speak. Women couldn’t be in the room with shirts on that said “Votes for Women.” 

Without a vote no one cares what we say, nor will they listen.  

The Republican Women are the workers in this party! We manage campaign offices; deliver literature door-to-door; make phone calls; plan forums; raise money; wave signs; organize rallies; set up conventions and meetings; mail campaign literature; participate in parades; plan and execute events; run for office and make things happen! 

We are the grit of the Republican Party. 

These same Republican Women raise families, have careers, strengthen their communities, serve in their churches, volunteer in schools, and teach their children Republican values.  Republican women and other good women in our state also work at the polls to make sure we all can exercise our right to vote and have confidence in that vote.

The Republican Women in Idaho have volunteered 43,849 hours in a two-year period, electing Republicans and sharing our Republican message. The National Federation of Republican Women estimate $30 per hour for our service and that calculates out to $1,315,470.  

Once again there are those trying to silence our voices. We do not grow this party by shutting out Republican Women, Young Republicans and College Republicans. We, as Republican Women, ask for your support and assistance in helping us to retain our voice and vote on the important GOP executive committee. Real Republicans do not censor the voices of women!

Please consider how valuable the Republican Women’s vote is on the Idaho GOP Executive Board.  

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