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WIMG luncheon spotlights emerging women leaders.

This year's Women in Municipal Government (WIMG) Luncheon focused on the emerging, multiple agendas of women leaders.

Abbe Land, WIMG president and councilmember of the city of West Hollywood, Calif. enthusiastically welcomed WIMG members and guest speakers Amta Perez Ferguson, vice chair of the National Women's Political Caucus in Washington, D.C., and Ruth Mandel, director of the Center for the American Woman and Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Mandel offered insights on the subject of whether women make a difference in today's political structure and commented on the "Year of the Woman." Mandel warned, "We are not going to see in one year all the changes that are necessary. We are naive to think otherwise. We need a few more years, decades, and even generations to influence and affect change."

Mandel reflected on the emergence of women in. Congress and in state and local office from the early 70s through today, saying, "Last year's elections had the nation witness a growing number of women winning seats nationally and locally. This is really a different time. Over the last two decades, there has been a change in women's attitudes about our ability to make a conference. Before, women political leaders have not been identified with power issues as they have been with more civic-minded issues, such as health, welfare, choice, Head Start, and sexual harassment. Today, these are the hard, power issues."

Anita Perez Ferguson reminded the luncheon audience, "We are still behind many countries where gains are being made by women." Speaking of her own experience, with a background in education and politics, she stated, "You have to be hungry to really have what you want in terms of jobs and education as the tools to move forward. Our job as women leaders is to keep the ranks moving through. We have the potential to stand on our own here in our country and at the international level. We cannot exclusively be concerned with our own national boundaries."

She emplmsized, "The more we buy into a particular image, the more we lose who we are. Today's congressional women leaders, as we'll as our state and local elected officials, bring us quality. This speaks to the much deeper roots of who we are. We have achieved because of the help of many women. We have not done it alone."
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Title Annotation:includes related articles on other meetings; Women in Municipal Government
Author:Gordon, Mary France; McCarthy, Kathryn Shane
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Mar 22, 1993
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