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The Rise of Women in the Political Sphere

Justin Sullivan
Getty Images
Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton stops to take a selfie after meeting with members of the Iowa State legislature to kick off her campaign.

As many had predicted for some time, Hillary Clinton finally, officially, threw her hat in the ring as a candidate for president in 2016.

That long-anticipated candidacy is, for some, more evidence of the rising stature of women in political life.  But Dorothy Thomas would contend there is a lot more to the prominence of women in society than any one candidate, or potential candidate.

Thomas recently finished a term as interim director of the Ms. Foundation for Women and is now working to chart the force of women in political, economic and social terms. 

"Increasing women's participation in our political life is absolutely required in order for us to have the robust democracy that we represent to the world and that we want to retain at home," says Thomas.

She discusses how the dynamic has changed for women since their political power began to increase in the 1960s and ‘70s, and the new challenges women face today: