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

'Bittersweet': Harris VP pick reminds some women the glass ceiling is still intact

Posted on August 20, 2020

Cynthia Richie Terrell, the founder and executive director of RepresentWomen, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for more women in office, said that Biden's commitment early-on to picking a female running mate is an example of how men can wield their privilege to help change the underrepresentation of women in politics. "It's an important reminder that executives have a lot of power to accelerate progress to parity,” said Terrell. "It really begins to crack the egg of sexism, and all of a sudden people see that women can also be in positions of power."

Read More

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 14, 2020

Posted on August 14, 2020

Until this week, four women - Lucretia Mott (1848), Tonie Nathan (1972), Geraldine Ferraro (1984) & Sarah Palin (2008) - had been selected as vice presidential running mates. Former Vice President Joe Biden's selection of Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate brings that number to five and has led to a number of very interesting articles and news stories about this milestone in the annals of women's history and leadership.

Read More

Want a democracy that looks like America? Switch to ranked elections!

Posted on August 10, 2020

by

In the previous nine years, there have been 156 local ranked choice elections among three or more candidates — and women have won 48 percent of them. Of those winners, 38 percent were women of color. At the start of this year, women were half of all mayors and 49 percent of all city council members elected by RCV. As more cities, and now states, begin adopting and implementing ranked-choice voting, it will be worth noting if these positive outcomes continue to grow.

Read More