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Petition for Equality in the 2012 Presidential Debates

July 5, 2012

 

This is an exciting time to be a young woman interested in politics. Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin’s presidential and vice presidential campaigns put women in the spotlight in the political realm in 2008, finally providing a way for girls across our nation to envision themselves in these positions of power.

We already know that no women will be on stage at this year's presidential debates, but what about in the moderator's chair? We were shocked to find out that it has been 20 years since a woman last moderated a presidential debate.

Moderators are chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is made up of three women out of seventeen commissioners.  20 years is way too long: we're encouraging the Commission to name at least one woman to moderate one of the three upcoming presidential debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

Presidential debate moderators have a lot power when it comes to helping the American public to better understand candidates. Being a moderator is a tough job; the moderator must keep debate flowing, make sure candidates stay focused on relevant topics, and maintain an unbiased stance. 

Men are no more capable of performing these tasks than women -- but for the last two decades, only men have been given the job.

Women and men will never be truly equal in our country until they’re one and the same in positions of power and both visible in politics.  We need to take immediate action in order to move towards this change. There is no reason why a woman shouldn’t have a chance to show what she’s capable of by moderating debates in the upcoming election.

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