Women

Joe Ravi, CC-BY-SA 3.0


The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg certainly has some political repercussions, but for many women who followed her career, her impact will be long lasting. That's the case for many women who practice law in Wyoming.

Kamila Kudelska

On a hot afternoon, a group of girls are going in circles playing musical chairs, except there are no chairs. Just orange cones. And they are all on mountain bikes.

Today marks the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the United States. But that right came much earlier in the Mountain West. 


Equality State Policy Center

The Equality State Policy Center, a nonpartisan advocacy group, is holding a live event to discuss the power of women voting. It will host Wyoming women political leaders on Thursday, July 16.

Nimi McConigley

Even though women in Wyoming were allowed to vote, run for office and get involved in politics back in 1870, it took much longer after that for women of color to get elected.

The first Black woman to get elected to office in Wyoming was Elizabeth Byrd. She started out in the Wyoming House of Representatives, in 1981. That's close to a century later after women were first granted the right to vote and run for office.

What took so long?

There's an ongoing debate in the American West about which state granted women the right to vote first. Wyoming ratified the decision first in 1869 but didn't vote until the fall of the next year; but Utah women actually went to the polls seven months earlier than that.

Either way, it was Western states that made the leap, and a new book called No Place For A Woman: The Struggle for Suffrage in the Wild West explores what it was about Western women that made them such suffragists.

Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards interviewed author Chris Enss.

Courtesy


The University of Wyoming's student government, also known as ASUW, has historically been male-dominated. This year, two women were elected to President and Vice President. That may be for the first time ever. But there's no way to know, since ASUW records don't always account for gender. Wyoming Public Radio's Maggie Mullen spoke with President Riley Talamantes and Vice President Courtney Titus about what it was like to be one of the few, if only, two-women tickets to win the election.

Bob Beck


In Wyoming history, only 119 women have won legislative races. Since about half of the state is made up of women, it means they seriously lack representation. It's an issue that has been discussed for years, though little gets done.

Wyoming Newspapers (newspapers.wyo.gov)

In 1869, journalism looked very different than it does today. There weren't the quotes or perspectives from both sides. Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper McKim dug into the archives to try and use journalism to learn more about women's suffrage. What he found wasn't much, but found out it was critical. Jennifer Helton, a Wyoming native and expert in the state's suffrage history, gives some background to the state was like in 1869 and how she used journalism to learn more about it.

Susan Simpson

The legal right to vote doesn't always translate to the ability to vote. 

There can be barriers to the polls, says Susan Simpson, the president of the League of Women Voters of Wyoming. That's a nonpartisan organization that provides information on political candidates and works for higher participation in the political process. Simpson talked with Wyoming Public Radio's Erin Jones about how Wyoming measures up when it comes to voting access.

Julie Greer

When Kristen Czaban started at the Sheridan Press in June 2008 as a new reporter, she thought she'd stay for a year, get experience and move on.

Collection of the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum

Early May, the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum hosted virtual beers and banter over Zoom.

"I'm excited that we're able to come together and celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the first all women council," said Morgan Jaouen, the executive director of the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum.

courtesy of Christie Wildcat

Every year at Gathering of Nations Powwow in New Mexico, Dozens of young Indigenous women compete for the title of Miss Indian World. This year, Northern Arapaho citizen and University of Wyoming senior Christie Wildcat was among the contestants. But the powwow and the pageant were cancelled to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

As Wildcat told Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher, her preparation won't go to waste, as she plans to compete again next year.

Bethann Garramon Merkle

Her Flag is a nationwide project celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave some U.S. women the right to vote. Bethann Garramon Merkle is a research scientist at the University of Wyoming and one of the women chosen to participate in the Her Flag project.

Savannah Maher

During the legislative session, Representative Andi Clifford's days start before dawn. So, when her friend Representative Sara Burlingame picks her up from her hotel early on a February morning, the first thing on their agenda is getting caffeinated.

Wyoming Game and Fish

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is offering a women only Hunter Education course in Laramie. The class will take place March 5 and 6 with a field day March 7.

Wyoming Women's Foundation

The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Wyoming 2020 recently came out. It's a study that takes into account all kinds of factors for working families, including how many adults are in your household, the number of children, or which county you live in. And then it works like a calculator to determine the amount of income required to meet basic needs at a minimally adequate level.

Savannah Maher

Every Wednesday afternoon, one hallway at Wyoming Indian High School turns into a robotics arena.

During an after school scrimmage in December, two teams were using remote controlled robots — which they built and programmed themselves — to move big yellow blocks called “stones” around an obstacle course. 12th grader Maranda Blackbird explained the rules.

FitSmallBusiness.com

Wyoming is a great state for women to start a business due to economic incentives, but not so great when it comes to female-friendly business environments.

Four women from the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in northeastern Utah have turned to the federal court system after they were banished by Ute tribal leadership last year. 

Wyoming PBS

December 10 marks the 150th anniversary of Wyoming becoming the first state to allow women to vote, and there will be several celebrations around Northeast Wyoming.

Northwest College

Students from Northwest College will present their findings on women in Wyoming as part of a celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage in Wyoming.

Wyoming Women in Ag

When people think of women involved in agriculture, maybe they think of them paying the bills or raising children and keeping the workers fed, but the stereotype for Wyoming women is changing.

Kamila Kudelska

October 26 marks the opening of an exhibit at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West focusing on women throughout Wyoming. It showcases large-scale portraits and interviews with the women. The photographer Lindsay Linton Buk has traveled around the state to meet and learn their stories. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska sat down with the photographer and the two women co-curators of the exhibit, Karen McWhorter and Rebecca West and asked what stood out about this collection of portraits.

Kamila Kudelska

Wyoming State Sen. Affie Ellis spoke about her life Friday, October 25 at a luncheon honoring the opening of the 'Women in Wyoming' exhibit at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

University of Wyoming

This Saturday, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), a University of Wyoming student club, is hosting Wyoming 5th through 9th grade girls at the WOMENgineering conference.

Kamila Kudelska

In the last decade, hunting has decreased in popularity nationally. While the downward trend is not as drastic in Wyoming, the Game and Fish Department is still worried about the future. That's because hunting and fishing license fees and federal excise taxes make up about 75 percent of the commission's budget. But a First Hunt program in the Bighorn Basin hopes to stabilize that revenue.

Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

It's known as the Night of the Grizzlies. Over fifty years ago, two women were killed by two different grizzly bears on the same night. The repercussions of the incident can still be seen in the way bears are managed today. But it also gave birth to a powerful myth—it's dangerous for women to spend time in the woods while menstruating.

Courtesy Wyoming Business Council

The Wyoming Council For Women announced the winner of its second annual Woman Entrepreneur Award.

Warning: This story talks explicitly about female anatomy and traumatizing procedures.

A district court judge ruled last year that a federal law banning female genital mutilation was unconstitutional. He said it’s up to the states to make laws about this cultural practice. While we don’t know how many people undergo the procedure in the Mountain West, many hope to amplify the conversation as some states pass laws and others don’t.

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