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Nevada made history Tuesday by having the first state legislature made up by a majority of women.
Nevada became the first state in the United States to have a female majority in its legislature. On Tuesday, after Las Vegas county officials appointed two women to fill the vacancies in the state lesgislature, Nevada achieved this historical feat.
The appointments of the Democrats Rochelle Thuy Nguyen and Beatrice Angela Duran gave women 51 percent of the 63 seats in the legislature. The seats were vacated by Chris Brooks and Olivia Diaz.
Women in the state legislature will have nine out of 21 Senate seats and 24 seats out of 42 in the lower house, or Assembly, making an overall female majority.
The Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University said that no other state had a female majority or even an equal representation in the U.S. Before 2018, New Hampshire was the first state to have a female majority in the state Senate between 2009 and 2010.
"It is unprecedented at this point to see a majority female legislature overall," said Kelly Dittmar, an assistant professor of political science at Rutgers-Camden.
According to Dittmar, “the more women you have in the body, the more that their perspectives and life experiences are integrated into policy debates and deliberations”. This will also influence young people and make the legislature more open to women.
Prior to the increase in Nevada, Arizona and Vermont had the highest representation of women in state legislatures with 40 percent in each one.
Women will make up 28.6 percent of state legislators nationwide according to Rutgers University data. Female representation was at 24.3 percent a decade ago.
Nevada’s Speaker of the Assembly, Democrat Jason Frierson said: “In addition to a diversity of backgrounds and life experiences both Rochelle and Beatrice bring passion, energy, and knowledge to the State Legislature that will better serve our state and our constituents,” adding that the chamber is proud to welcome them both.
For the first time in U.S. history, in the U.S. midterm elections in November more than 100 Black and Latino women, LGBT, and Native Americans were elected to the U.S. Congress and Senate and to state legislatures.