In the 2014 general election, fewer than half of women exercised their right to vote in a contest that elected the entire U.S. House of Representatives and a third of the U.S. Senate, as well as many state-level officials. Overall, voter turnout in the United States was estimated at 36.7% — the lowest since World War II. Only 21.5% of young people ages 18-24 took part in the 2014 election. If decisions are made by those who show up, young women need to take note and understand how to make their voices heard.
On Thursday, April 5, 200 girls from the greater Hartford region traveled to Hartford to attend the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame (CWHF) second annual Girls Day at the Capitol, a forum for young women in grades eight through 12 to explore the stories of the Connecticut women who fought to secure their right to vote, hear from high-level women in government, discuss the issues most important to them, and learn about the legislative process and how they can use their own voices to address 21st-Century challenges. Through the day’s sessions, participants explored avenues of civic engagement such as voting, grassroots advocacy, and elected office. They left with a better understanding of their past and its connection to the present as well as inspiration to take an active role in shaping their future.