How much money did it take to win as a woman this year?

By Maura Reilly on December 10, 2020

During the 2020 Congressional election, the campaign costs broke records once again, increasing from the $5.72 billion spent in 2018 to an estimated $7.52 billion in 2020; and, the cost of running as a non-incumbent woman was no different. A total of $443 million was spent by the 229 non-incumbent women candidates during the 2020 Congressional election cycle; only 27 have won and will be members of the 117th Congress.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation December 4, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on December 04, 2020


A mother greets her daughters at their school in Tulsa on Nov. 9. (Mike Simons/AP)

Dear fans of women's representation,
Melinda Gates, who has demonstrated her dedication to advancing women's representation & leadership by funding the Equality Can't Wait Challenge, has written a powerful Op-Ed in The Washington Post calling on president-elect Biden to "make caregiving a presidential priority" because inequities that women are facing pre-date the pandemic and will continue unless intentional action is taken to address them:

The coronavirus has laid bare what was painfully clear to many families already: The caregiving system in the United States is broken, and it is women who are paying the price.

Even before the pandemic began, child-care and long-term care solutions were often unaffordable and inaccessible, and women were filling the gaps at tremendous cost to their own economic potential.

Now, with child-care centers closed, schools operating remotely and families caring for sick adults and aging parents at home, what was previously untenable has become almost impossible — especially for single mothers, essential workers and others working low-wage jobs with unpredictable hours.

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Don’t ovary-act, but we need better women’s representation

By Bobbie Bell on November 30, 2020

While the U.S. celebrates our first ever woman Vice President, Kamala Harris, and a record number of women and women of color in the 117th Congress, gender parity and equality continues to be out of reach. RepresentWomen’s 2020 Gender Parity Index shows the more detailed and complex truth about women’s political representation in the United States. A truth that shows while the media celebrates historic wins for women, representation and legislative power continues to lag across the country.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation November 27, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on November 27, 2020


Dear friends,
I am grateful for the work that you are doing to advance women's representation and for the chance to work with the small but mighty team at RepresentWomen. I know that there are many important causes to support this holiday giving season but I do hope that you will consider a donation to support our research and advocacy to elect more women to office faster! We have lots of fun plans for 2021 - here is a sample of our 2020 projects:
  • PACs and Donors, Summer 2020: [LINK] - our 2020 PACs and Donors Report reviews the campaign finance data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics with a gender lens. While political scientists may dispute the impact of campaign finance on election outcomes, we argue that anyone who followed the 2020 primaries should be able to see that the viability of a candidate is often measured by her ability to raise funds.

  • PACs and Donors Case Studies [LINK] - our PACs and Donors Case Studies provide additional insight into the giving patterns of twenty-eight membership PACs across seven sectors. Our deep-dives include the breakdown of donations by both the gender and party of candidates in the 2018 midterm elections.
  • Ranked Choice Voting Report, Summer 2020 [LINK] -
    this report provides a thorough review of ranked choice voting in the U.S. and how it impacts women’s representation in the cities that have implemented it. Between 2010 and April 2020, 19 jurisdictions used RCV to elect sitting city officials, including 13 mayors and city councilmembers in 14 jurisdictions. Over the last decade, women have won 48% of all municipal ranked choice elections.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation November 20, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on November 20, 2020


Dear friends,

Five years ago, to the day, I started publishing this blog with the goal of amplifying the great work that all of you are doing to advance women's representation and leadership in the United States. Along the way I had the great fortune to meet and share the stories of women's representation advocates from Europe - on a terrific trip to Brussels organized by Brenda Choresi Carter; democracy activists in India & Nepal - via a partnership with the U.S. State Department; and parliamentarians from around the world who gathered for the Inter-Parliamentary Union Summit in Serbia last fall. 
Each week I try to include timely news about women's representation in the United States, articles about efforts to increase women's representation around the world via institutional strategies like gender quotas & proportional voting systems, the latest research on women's representation & leadership, and events that may be of interest. As always, please send me anything you would like included in the months and years to come.

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Meet the Team: Sara

By RepresentWomen by on November 17, 2020

Sara Ahmed is a freshman at American University with an intended major in Political Science and Sociology. Being a communications intern at Represent Women has helped her put her passion for gender equality, specifically in the political field, into action. She hopes to work on campaigns where women of color who look like her are running for public office in the future. Sara enjoys trying different places to eat and watching psychological thrillers in her free time.

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Meet the Team: Sarika

By Sarika Walia on November 17, 2020

My name is Sarika Walia, I am currently a senior Public Health Sciences major at the University of Maryland and am matriculating into an accelerated Master’s program in Health Equity this coming summer. I have worked in advocacy my whole life, creating the first Students for Social Justice Club at my high school, helping organize protests in D.C. and involving myself in research that focuses on women and cardiovascular health since most breakthroughs have been focused on men for the past century. Once I finish my Master’s, I hope to work on Women’s reproductive health in developing countries like India. 

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Meet the Team: Rose

By RepresentWomen by on November 17, 2020

My name is Rose Teszler, I’m a rising Junior at Swarthmore College, and I was born and raised in the Boston area. From my underclassman years at Swarthmore, I have mostly learned that I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I count successfully evading the major declaration form as a significant achievement as I continue to deliberate on my love of STEM and my passion for Global Studies. 

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Meet the Team: McKayla

By RepresentWomen by on November 17, 2020

My name is McKayla Wenner and I am from Green Bay, Wisconsin. I am a senior at Georgetown University majoring in Government and English and minoring in Spanish, and I will be working as a research intern for RepresentWomen this fall.

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Meet the Team: Lexi

By Alexandra Long on November 17, 2020

My name is Lexi Long, and I am a 2020 graduate of Lafayette College in Easton, PA. As an International Affairs and German Double Major with a Minor in Women and Gender Studies, I was afforded a wide range of opportunities to broaden my knowledge of international politics, language and culture, and how our global societal structure reinforces systematic inequality. During my study abroad experiences in both Germany and Denmark, two countries who have addressed various inequities in their political and economic spheres, I discovered that the United States has only just begun to change the discourse surrounding this narrative.

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