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Connie M. Hildebrand, Bismarck, Published July 28 2012

It’s a total lack of ND leadership

Buried in my paper files is the date the North Dakota Legislature passed the mandated gender-balance bill requiring boards and commissions appointed by the governor to be gender-balanced. It was sometime in the late 1980s, when we still had paper files. Then, the women and men who worked hard for that bill celebrated.

They celebrated for no reason, since every administration in the North Dakota governor’s office from that date to this has failed to meet the intention, the purpose and the objective of that law – to appoint women in equal portion, where they can fully participate in the political, decision-making process of the state of North Dakota.

This is not a “Dalrymple-Hoeven War on Women,” as quoted in one blog. This is a total lack of committed leadership on the part of every North Dakota governor’s administration since the 1980s to appoint women up-front-and-personal to play their critical role in North Dakota’s past, present and future. The past can be forgiven only if North Dakota’s male leadership wakes up to assume its mandated responsibility to incorporate women in the political life of the state of North Dakota.

If Dalrymple and Hoeven are the men to assume that responsibility, so be it. The women and men of North Dakota will sing their praises.

Hildebrand is national board member, American Association of University Women.