Really, the Republican Party should be the party of women. After all, we're the breadwinners in many families. Women have been starting businesses at a higher rate than men for two decades, and women will create more than half of new small business jobs in the coming decade. Republicans are strong on fiscal responsibility and economic growth—Democrats are weak on both—but too many female voters disregarded their economic concerns to vote Democratic because they felt alienated by the GOP on social issues.
Yet polls show that a majority of women now consider themselves prolife. Staying prolife but including exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother will go a long way toward winning women back. So will an immigration policy that emphasizes both border security and a compassionate path to citizenship. As will a more inclusive policy on same-sex marriage. It's time for the party to include more women in its leadership, and become more "modern," as the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, says.
Women haven't changed. They are just as focused on the future of our country as they were before the election, just as sure of their own core values. It's the politics that have changed. The Republican Party can become the home of women, but it must show that its policies are compassionate, tolerant, and understanding of all Americans. And it must do so quickly. Think of the 12- year-olds.