Although the women’s liberation movement began decades ago, our generation watches as the iron ladies above us struggle to find a real foothold in the political arena.

In a country where women make up over half the population, our House of Representatives has only 73 female representatives, comprising 16.6 percent of the seats. Of those, only about a third are Republican. The midterm 2010 elections were the first instance since the 1970s when women actually lost seats in Congress.

Yet it seems that years of Rosie the Riveter and “you-can-do-anything-a-boy-can-do” ideology are beginning to pay off among younger conservatives, given trends at local College Republican organizations. This year, two major universities in the D.C. area — Georgetown and The George Washington University — have elected female chairs for their College Republicans.

Though the change has been slow, it has been constant. Last year, out of the 10 board positions for Georgetown University College Republicans, seven were male. This year, the tables have turned: Female members now hold five seats — including chair and vice chair. As outgoing Chair Joseph Knowles (COL ’12) accepted his neatly wrapped gift for the end of his term, he jokingly noted, “With so many girls on the board, it’s going to be an efficient year!”

We certainly expect the role of women to continue to increase, especially with the upcoming 2012 election. For the sake of our generation and those who will follow in our shoes (or, better yet, our patent leather pumps), we hope this year’s GUCR board reflects a more gender-equal Congress in the future.

Increased gender equality, however, is not the only effort GUCR endeavors toward. Our entire board has begun other efforts gain campus recognition by sending out speaker invitations and revamping our website over winter break. Our goal, clearly stated, is to increase our presence on campus and to enhance our reputation. It’s an exciting time to be a Republican, and we feel it is our job to share that excitement with the student body. And, of course, we are also proving to the world that men aren’t the only ones who can handle politics.

In the past year, we’ve expanded the club’s traditional role to include events such as debate-watch parties and board dinners. Although political junkies may be difficult to find at some college campuses, there is no such scarcity at Georgetown. Political groups on campus such as the College Republicans were created to to cater to those students who recognize that government and politics are a fundamental part of our country and our everyday lives.

There has always seemingly been a rivalry between the College Democrats and the College Republicans, but both groups certainly respect those who have strong political opinions more than those who have no opinion at all.

While the College Republicans all share the tenants of smaller government and personal responsibility, opinions on other topics remain broad within our membership. Especially in primary season, support ranges across the field of presidential candidates. We have avid Huntsman fans and those who support Mitt Romney. Conversations like those broadly reflect the changing nature of the GOP itself.

We as Republicans are becoming more of the Big Tent Party that President Reagan originally envisioned. This more inclusive party is what we strive for, and is something that we are already achieving here at Georgetown.

Maggie Cleary is a sophomore in the College. She is the chair of the Georgetown University College Republicans.

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