Power parity still an issue for women in Tennessee

Friday, April 20, 2001 at 1:00am

Remember potty parity - the law that required a fair number of potty seats for women at public events? State Sen. Thelma Harper took great pains to see that women would no longer have to stand in line to go to the bathroom at Adelphia Coliseum or any Tennessee sporting event.

Meanwhile, Gov. Sundquist is doing an end around, to use a football analogy, on another parity bill passed in 1994.

The Fair Appointments Act of 1994 said: Appointments made after Jan. 1, 1995, shall alternate such that every other appointment of a new member to the board shall be a female until the membership of the board reflects the percentage of females in the population generally.

The 1990 census figures put that at 48% men and 52% women. The 2000 census figures have not been broken down to reflect male/female percentages.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has 14 board members with only 4 of them being women or 71% men and 29% women.

The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees has 21 board members with only 3 of them being women, a percentage of 86% men to 14% women.

The State Board of Regents has 18 members with only 4 of them being women or 78% men to 22% women.

None of these percentages come close to matching the general population percentages of 52% women and 48% men. In fact it appears Gov. Sundquist is trying to make a touchdown in the wrong end zone.

Is Mayor Purcell doing any better? Not much.

In May of 2000, Saralee Terry Woods, president of CABLE, reported that out of 534 seats on the various boards and commissions, 201 were filled by women or about 38%.

Tennessee

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