Women make up more than half of the U.S. population, yet the majority of elected and appointed positions in government are held by men.
Political insiders control who gets recruited to run for office, partisanship and winner-take-all voting often determines who wins, and antiquated legislative rules impact who can serve and lead.
The problem isn't just convincing more women candidates to run for office. The problem is there are structural and institutional barriers that limit women's odds of success at every stage of the electoral process.
To advance women's representation and leadership in the United States, we need to complement existing candidate-centric practices with innovative systems strategies.
Electing more women to government will strengthen our democracy by making it more representative, reviving bipartisanship and collaboration, improving policy outcomes, encouraging a new style of leadership, and cultivating trust in our elected bodies.
Recruitment targets for political parties so more women run.
Ranked choice voting for executive & legislative offices so more women win.
Modern rules like onsite childcare so more women can serve effectively.
Rankin Chisolm Rule for political appointments & hiring so more women lead.
Join the work for systems strategies that address the structural barriers women face & enable sustained progress toward gender balance in representation and leadership in the United States.
News of Supreme Court decisions and the sweltering heat of Washington, DC are hard to avoid but there have also been some developments related to women's representation that caught my eye this week. I was very glad to see that Gina Glantz and the team at Gender Avenger have updated their tool to track the representation of women on panels and more with a new setting that tracks women of color. Here is an excerpt from the blog about the launch: This week, GenderAvenger is releasing a new version of the GA Tally app that puts more emphasis on the representation of women of color. In this time of social change, our team explored how we could modify the GA Tally to challenge event organizers, best-of list-makers, and conversation hosts everywhere to ensure that the voices of women of color are included all the time. Otherwise, we will continue to have a public dialog that is incomplete.Read More
There were several key primaries this week with fascinating wins and losses for women candidates along with a number of landmark Supreme Court decisions that will dominate the headlines for weeks to come. In the midst of all this news I was very glad to read the latest report from Sarah Bryner from the Center for Responsive Politics who writes about the likely composition of the 117th Congress. While there have been a number of stories about the number of women running, Sarah's report examines the prospects for these women to actually win. It's so important to remember that the power of incumbency, the challenges of raising money, and our antiquated electoral system fortify the status quo:Read More
In RepresentWomen’s 2020 PAC Report, “PACs and Donors: Agents of Change for Women’s Representation,” we found that women often raise comparable sums to men in the same party and in similar races. However, they are more likely to rely on more small-dollar donations than large political action committee (PAC) donations. This grassroots fundraising strategy takes more time and resources for campaigns and candidates, continuing to disadvantage women candidates. PACs are not less likely to fund women candidates because they have a lower chance of winning their race or are less qualified, but because PACs overfund incumbents.Read More