Remember the (API) ladies…

16-women-senators2
The 16 women senators of the 110th Congress. In the current 111th Congress, only 2 out of the 95 women in the House and Senate are Asian Pacific Islanders. Photo from http://www.mikulski.senate.gov/images/16%20Women%20Senators.jpg.

The administration and Congress under President Obama is more diverse than ever.

In our latest issue of Pacific Ties (available soon online), Elizabeth Park reports on seven prominent Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs) in Obama’s administration and First Family.  I am pleased to see a variety of ethnic backgrounds and areas of expertise represented in his picks.

But with the exception of Obama’s half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, all of them are male.

And it’s awesome that Nancy Pelosi is the first-ever female Speaker of the House and that a record number of 95 women now serve in Congress.

But only two out of these 95 women are Asian Pacific Islander American, despite the fact that as of 2008, API Americans comprise 5.3% of the U.S. population collectively.

It seems that one-category minorities (such API males or white females) are increasingly represented in politics, but double minorities such as API females are still largely absent from the scene.

Why?

Any thoughts or insights?  Leave your comments below!

— posted by Debbie Chong

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