Report: Elect women, change campaign culture to end abuse

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Three women in Illinois government studying sexual harassment and gender equity say a solution would be to elect women to half of all political offices in the state.

The Illinois Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access Panel issued a report Wednesday recommending measures for political parties to combat sexual harassment and make politics fairer for women.

Other recommendations include tying party funding of campaigns to solid anti-harassment policies, establishing procedures for investigating complaints that are independent of campaign organizations, and having state parties hire “diversity directors” to recruit a wider range of candidates.

Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan appointed panel members State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, state Sen. Melinda Bush and state Rep. Carol Ammons to study the issues last winter amid a series of sexual harassment complaints in the Legislature.