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.
As readers may remember, jurisdictions with ranked choice voting are electing more women to office for both executive and legislative offices than the norm in non-RCV cities. There have been some very successful uses of ranked choice voting this year by both major parties for primaries and party elections but the biggest news is that Massachusetts is well on its way to becoming the 2nd state to adopt RCV. If you care about democracy read this good piece in The Fulcrum about the effort and if you live in Massachusetts please sign the petition:Read More
There were a lot of terrific articles this week discussing women's representation and leadership including this piece on Forbes by Marianne Schnall that features interviews with a number of prominent women discussing women's leadership: A few weeks ago an evocative meme was making the social media rounds: a picture of the leaders of Germany, New Zealand, Belgium, Finland, Iceland and Denmark with the caption “COVID-19 is everywhere but countries with heads of state managing the crisis better seem to have something in common…” Of course the answer was that they were all women. The narrative is that from Angela Merkel of Germany to Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand to Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan (as well as the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway), it does appear that countries who have female leaders at the helm are proving to be faring better during the pandemic thanks to their effective handling of the response to the COVID-19 crisis.Read More
There were a number of great pieces tied to the celebration of Mother's Day which pointed to the contradiction between the Hallmark version of the holiday and the lived experiences of many, if not all, women. I especially loved a piece in The New York Times by Kim Brooks titled "Forget Pancakes. Pay Mothers" which challenges readers to think about the work of raising children and running households in the United States:Read More