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The barriers women face do not end once elected. Congress, state legislatures, and local governments must modernize their internal practices and culture so that women legislators can serve and lead effectively. Erratic work schedules, low pay rates, geographic distance, and unfair leadership selection processes serve as a challenge for many women—especially those caring for relatives and managing households. Although these reforms would benefit men and women, these issues disproportionately affect women and will continue barring women from serving. It's time we change that. It's time we help women SERVE.
Embodying the phrase “if you can see it, you can be it,” normalizing women in political leadership positions will normalize the idea of women as leaders, period. Over the past decade, progress toward women’s legislative equality has been slow but present. While the number of women running for office and winning continues to be dwarfed by the number of men, there is an upward trajectory nearing the 30 percent threshold associated with the critical mass theory. Despite the growing numbers of women legislators, this progress does not automatically translate into women's uptick in executive or staff leadership positions. It's time we change that with intentional systems reforms. It's time we de-bug our democracy and let women lead.
RepresentWomen's mission is to reform the institutions and structures that hold women back from running for office rather than forcing women to change. Increasing the recruitment, training, and funding of women candidates will be more effective in getting women elected at every level of government. It's time we dismantle these barriers for women who want to run for office.
In January of 2021 with women holding 27 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives, the U.S. ranked 67th in the world for women’s representation in the lower house. Despite record-breaking election cycles the U.S. remains continually outpaced by 70+ countries including the majority of our democratic allies—allies that don’t have better women running, but better systems for women to run in and WIN. Ranked choice voting in multi-seat districts, commonly referred to as fair representation voting, is a form of proportional representation made to fit the United States’ electoral culture. The system combines the benefits for women found in both ranked choice voting and multi-member districts and corrects the problems of underrepresentation for communities of color which come with using multi-seat districts in a winner take all system. To normalize women leaders, and increase diversity in our politics. We need reform now.
RepresentWomen tracks women's representation and leadership in the United States and around the world to identify the "best practices" for creating a more representative government. Our research indicates that even as more women run, electoral rules and systems play a major role in determining electoral outcomes. As seen in both our 2016 and 2020 reports, we find that electoral outcomes for women and people of color are overall better in jurisdictions that have implemented ranked choice voting (RCV).