Gov. Nikki Haley is one of two women that the Southeastern Institute for Women in Politics said today that it will honor with its annual Leading Women Awards.
Haley, a former state representative from Lexington, will be honored as the Republican leading woman, said the institute, a nonpartisan nonprofit group started to encourage and train more women to run for elected and appointed political office. Less than 10 percent of the elected representatives in S.C. Legislature are women, but women make up 51 percent of the state's population, the institute says
The Democratic to be honored will be former state Rep. Lucille Simmons Whipper of Charleston, the first woman of color elected to the S.C. General Assembly.
"When Nikki Haley became governor, she broke a 250-year-barrier for women in South Carolina," said institute board member Barbara Rackes. "Regardless of your political party preference, this is a major step toward equal gender representation."
Less than 10 percent of the elected representatives in S.C. Legislature are women, but women make up 51 percent of the state's population.
The keynote speaker for the third annual Leading Women dinner, sponsored by the institute, will be Valerie Biden Owens, a media consultant and 12-time campaign manager to her brother, Vice President Joe Biden.