Breaking Alabama’s Political Glass Ceiling

Political Science Department to Host Symposium on Women in Politics

Though women are becoming progressively more involved in national politics and continue to gain government positions across the nation, Alabama’s female citizens are still widely underrepresented at both the state and local levels. Alabama ranks 47th out of the 50 states when it comes to the political representation of women.

The Alabama Political Science Association (AlaPSA) will examine and address this problem in a symposium, “The State of Women and Politics in Alabama,” held this Friday evening as part of the organization’s annual conference.

Hosted by UA’s Department of Political Science, the conference begins at noon on Friday and runs until 2 p.m. Saturday. The highlight of the conference will be a banquet and symposium held Friday at the Hotel Capstone Ballroom from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Participants will discuss their perspectives on what needs to be changed so that women in Alabama are better-represented in the future.

The symposium will be chaired by Dr. Lori Owens, associate professor of political science at Jacksonville State University and former chair of the Alabama Women’s Commission, and will feature analysis and observations from a wide range of political scientists and prominent female elected officials, including State Representative Mary Sue McClurkin (R-Pelham), State Representative Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham), State Senator Linda Coleman (D-Birmingham), and Judge Beth Kellum (R-Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals). The banquet is open to the public; tickets are $25 per person. For more information about the conference, including tickets to the banquet and symposium, contact Richard Fording, chair of the UA Department of Political Science, at

This year’s conference marks the 40th anniversary for Alabama Political Science Association, which held its first meeting in 1973.

“The University of Alabama political science department is proud to host the annual meeting commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Alabama Political Science Association,” Fording said. “Along with my co-chairs Gina Miller and Laura Sojka, we have assembled an excellent program that features the research of political science faculty and students from across the state and the South.” This year’s meeting highlights papers and presentations on a range of topics, including public policy (both state and national perspectives), American politics, international politics, and political theory.

Learn more about the Alabama Political Science Association from the organization’s website,