Of the people, yet, the United States is roughly 50 percent women, but Congress is only 19.4 percent women.
By the people, yet, primary winners almost never win a majority of votes.
For the people, yet, women make up over half of our population, pay taxes, and are immediately impacted by the policy decisions of an 80.6 percent male representative body.
A thriving democracy is within our reach, and together, we can make it a reality.
We must level the playing field for women candidates of all backgrounds to run, win, and lead.
Electing more women will strengthen our democracy by better representing its rich diversity, reviving bipartisanship, improving policy outcomes, encouraging a new style of leadership, and cultivating trust in our elected bodies.
The U.S. ranks behind 102 nations for women's representation, with women making up a quarter or less of every level of government. Yet progress is possible. With the momentum of a growing movement pushing us forward, we can win gender parity in our lifetimes - but only with new strategies that target the structural causes of women’s underrepresentation.
The New York Times wrote about women's representation in state legislatures and how those statistics are likely to change after the general elections in November. The piece quotes Katie Ziegler from the NCSL who rightly points out that the central reason that women remain underrepresented is because incumbents win re-election and incumbents are mostly men. While more women are projected to win this November, any that win in seats held by the opposite party are unlikely to hold on to those seats in the next election cycle - which confirms the need for reforms of our district design and voting systems: A record number of women won Nevada’s primaries in June. And there is now a possibility for the Legislature to have more women than men, which would be a first in United States history. Of the states that have had primaries so far, at least eight more have a shot at reaching or surpassing the 50 percent mark in November. To reach this milestone, however, a woman must win the general election in every district where at least one is running, a difficult feat. Some female candidates are running in districts favoring the other party, and many are challenging incumbents, who historically almost always win.Read More
In both the United States and Mexico, 2018 has been called “the year of the woman,” an inspiring phrase based on the surges of female political activism across the globe. Despite using the same battle cry, the electoral landscapes for women in the two countries are drastically different: according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s measurement of women’s representation in parliament, the US ranks 102rd internationally, while Mexico ranks a striking 9th. Such an incredible gap cannot be simply explained by only one factor; however, Mexico’s mandatory gender quotas for political parties, along with a combination of proportional and winner-take-all districts, are indelibly crucial components, offering insightful lessons for visibly urgent change in the US. Mexico has a history of legal support for parity in politics, but their most comprehensive and successive initiative has been the 2014 law requiring parties to ensure that 50% of candidates are female. Now, four years later, 42.5% of the lower house of Congress is female, an astounding number on par with Scandinavian countries. For contrast, the percentage of women in the US House of Representatives is not even 20%.Read More
At the current rate of change, it will take centuries to achieve gender parity for women in elective office - we can't wait that long for an equal voice in government.
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