The Challenge

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.

The Solutions

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.

Women Running

Women Running

Recruitment targets for political parties so more women run.

Women Winning

Women Winning

Ranked choice voting for executive & legislative offices so more women win.

Women Serving

Women Serving

Modern rules like onsite childcare so more women can serve effectively.

Women Leading

Women Leading

Rankin Chisolm Rule for political appointments & hiring so more women lead.

How Your State Ranks

Find out how your state ranks on the Gender Parity Index

How You Can Help

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.

Electeds

Electeds

You've been elected to public office, and want to push for reforms

Donors

Donors

You want to contribute to allow us to keep doing our work

Allies

Allies

You're an allied organization, influencer, or shaping the conversation

Journalists

Journalists

You're writing about gender parity and systemic reforms

Get Involved

New from RepresentWomen

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 20, 2020

Posted on March 20, 2020

This week there has been a whirlwind of news relating to the spread of the coronavirus and the new realities we are all facing. For some without adequate healthcare or underlying medical conditions the threat to life is grave while for others the challenges of working remotely and 'social distancing' are very real. My youngest daughter is a college senior and so is bracing for an anti-climatic end to her collegiate career. I thought this photo article in The New York Times by Anemona Hartocolis and Kayana Szymczak is a beautiful tribute to the many students who organized their own graduation ceremonies before they left campus:

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 13, 2020

Posted on March 13, 2020

Ardern has infused New Zealand with a new kind of soft power. When she visited the U.K. to meet Queen Elizabeth II, who is still New Zealand’s head of state, she wore a kahu huruhuru, a feathered cloak bestowed by Maoris on people of honor. Lots of world leaders try the trick of celebrating a nation’s first peoples by donning the local dress. But Ardern, visibly pregnant at the time, didn’t wear her gift with the awkwardness of Western leaders who show up at local photo shoots in guayaberas or floral headdresses. She rocked it. “Other countries want to be associated with what she represents,” says Hayward. “That’s what’s unusual. She’s not having to ask for the time. The doors are opened because it’s helpful for other leaders to be associated with her.”

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Warren exits, and our hopes for a woman president once again are dashed

Posted on March 08, 2020

As the last viable woman candidate leaves the field, we can expect the focus to shift quickly to the question of whether the remaining candidates will choose a woman — or even better, a woman of color — as a running mate. A woman vice president, regardless of race, would be a milestone for the U.S. and is a minimum requirement. If women are never at the top of the ticket, vice presidential running mates risk being seen as tokens, but we call on the major parties to always have a woman on their ticket to reflect a commitment to parity.

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