During Gov. Roy Cooper’s State of the State address Monday evening, Democratic women legislators and cabinet members wore white to highlight the growing number of female leaders. It was also an effort to show solidarity.
“We also recognized that the white represents the suffragettes, but we wanted to make sure that we made special recognition of our African American colleagues who were not necessarily included in the suffragette movement so if you look closely, you can see that we are also wearing pins with quotes from Sojourner Truth and Shirley Chisholm,” says Rep. Deb Butler, D-New Hanover.
The NC District 18 Representative said the republican women were invited to wear white, too, but they declined.
“We asked the other women to participate, but they wore red instead,” Butler says. “We tried to make it about women and not politics which is why we chose white.”
Approximately 2,117 women serve in the 50 state legislatures in 2019, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Women make up 28.7 percent of all state legislatures.