Introducing Rebecca Joseph, the founder of Women In Politics and a current high school junior from the Bay Area. Women In Politics has over 200 team members from all over the world. The organization has held many virtual events including a networking information session for high school with Giants Network and a voter drive with representatives from My SchoolVotes, PinkGranite, and Our Future Voters New Jersey. Women In Politics is also in the process of publishing a children's book, Little Lawmakers, in Spring 2022.
Rebecca got involved with politics late in freshman year of high school when she joined her school’s speech and debate team, finding her passion for politics through debate. Earlier on she had a misconception of politics being a faraway thing that didn’t affect her directly. Speech and debate allowed her to use her voice to talk about these issues and share an opinion about them. Debate being male-dominated was frustrating for her because there were only boys in the tournament finals, and she would get odd comments from the judges and her opponents after tournaments. Actions like these deterred her away from pursuing a political field. Due to covid, the speech and debate session ended abruptly but politics became more contentious with the 2020 elections, the pandemic, and especially the racial injustice which became more prominent in the media. Staying at home much like everyone else, Rebecca wanted to share her opinions about these topics. Women In Politics was born when she was looking for a community of girls with the same mindsets and ambitions as her and girls who were interested in politics yet never felt as welcomed as they should in some of the spaces which were supposed to be inclusive. She mentioned May 2020 being the month when they had their first official meeting and how much it has grown since then.
In the interview, Rebecca talked about hoping to go into government as well as loving what she does with Women In Politics and being a part of the change. Lack of representation is an issue in politics; having more women get into the political sphere would encourage other women to get involved in politics and voice their opinions about what is going on in the country.
Rebecca said that Women In politics would never die down because of the mission being ever-present and constant no matter what. Her speech and debate experience is quite universal in her opinion, and she found that other girls have had similar experiences when going into politically active clubs, internships, and more; because of this, they have been able to have a strong team with new teenagers joining to work towards a mission that is not only Rebecca’s but every other girls’.
She mentioned work-life balance being vital; self-care often goes overlooked when one feels drowned by social media, high school work, extracurriculars and spending time with family and friends. Going from online to hybrid to fully in-person school was a big shock for her, especially when dealing with time management. Over the past year, she realized that for a person to give a hundred percent, they must care for their mental health. Women In Politics has been able to stay afloat because of the team around the world sharing the burden equally and filling in for each other. Taking time for oneself is really important to achieve what we want.
Additionally, communication is an important key. She mentions that one should surround themselves with people that encourage you to not only do your best but also see that you need a break. The Women in Politics community is a place to feel that there are other people out there who share the same interests as you and make you know that you are not alone in this field. She hopes that even if people aren’t directly involved with Women In Politics, they are able to find their Instagram/TikTok as a comforting place to see that there are other girls out there whether in high school or college who want to pursue the same thing as them. Having a voice means going out to vote, expressing your concerns through protesting and sharing how you feel about your country because there isn’t only one answer to a solution.