My name is Evelien van Gelderen and I am a rising sophomore at Swarthmore College located in Swarthmore, Penn. Though I have yet to declare a major, I’m considering economics and biology. However, I’m also interested in policy and politics. My family has always been engaged in the news, and growing up, dinner conversation was often centered around social issues and recent news events.
While I have a science background, having done research at the National Institutes of Health, I am passionate about feminism and electoral reform. Science can provide valuable applications to RepresentWomen’s mission and work, and I am eager to apply scientific questioning and data analysis to my work as an intern.
My interest in women’s rights and policy stemmed from the the political discussions I was surrounded by when I was younger. But, it was really instigated by the exponential rise in the number of women running for office after the 2016 presidential election. Reading the stories of women who realized that they could do something to change their community by running for office has motivated me to become more involved in fair representation. It is heartening to see them get invaluable support from organizations with similar missions to RepresentWomen.
Progress is being made, but we have much work to do. Women are a majority in this country, and yet we are represented by an 80 percent male Congress. My home state, Maryland, has never had a female governor, and that needs to change.
Seeing women across the country energized and ready to fight to have their voices heard in government inspires me to contribute to the cause. I am excited to help implement systematic reforms that will make our government truly representative, from electoral reforms like ranked-choice voting to fairer legislative practices that support women in office. I look forward to being an agent for change.