Meet the Team: Allison

By Allison Mackenzie by on July 08, 2019

"Being a female athlete all my life and now at the collegiate level, very few women have coached me. Yes, it is true that more and more women are coaching women, but people often forget that almost no women are coaching men. After playing basketball up until college, it had always stuck out to me is that there were little to none women coaching men’s basketball. In politics and athletics, there are too many firsts that have not occurred yet for women."

Growing up in the D.C. area, the intense political engagement all around me was intimidating. I knew I was interested in the issues and wanted to be involved, but did not find myself to be a social justice warrior like my peers. Going into my first year at Haverford College outside of Philadelphia, I strayed away from pursuing political science because I honestly did not think it was for me. However, I decided to take a small dive back in through a friend’s recommendation to take a course taught by Associate Professor Susanna Wing. One of Professor Wing’s concentrations is women’s rights, specifically in post-conflict African countries. In her African Politics course, I was surprised to find that many of these governments developed quotas to guarantee women’s representation. It was shocking to realize how far behind the United States was and still is. RepresentWomen’s research corroborates my observations. RepresentWomen’s International Report exposes this phenomenon where the United States is ranked 78th in the world in terms of representation. These realizations regarding women’s representation helped re-spark my interest in political science.

I also view a lack of women’s representation through another lens: athletics. Being a female athlete all my life and now at the collegiate level, very few women have coached me. Yes, it is true that more and more women are coaching women, but people often forget that almost no women are coaching men. After playing basketball up until college, it had always stuck out to me is that there were little to none women coaching men’s basketball. In politics and athletics, there are too many firsts that have not occurred yet for women. Any female athlete knows that we are far from equality between women and men’s sports. Just ask the USWNT suing U.S. Soccer for equal pay. And yes, in politics, only around 20% of women are in elected office.

The intersection between women’s rights and politics emerges at the forefront of my collegiate career where I just declared my major in political science a few months ago. My time at RepresentWomen is inspired by many of the strong women who have introduced me into the political sphere such as my grandma, my professors, friends, and mentors. This summer, I hope to create an outreach strategy system to grow RepresentWomen’s network while I am apart of an all-female coaching staff for a local softball team.

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