Leveling the political playing field clearly benefits women candidates, but what does this do for all women? And what about the other half of the population? As it turns out, advancing towards gender parity not only empowers women, but also strengthens our democracy and serves the entire nation.
There has long been anecdotal evidence of women in political office working together and problem solving, but there is also new quantitative data to support those claims. Success stories, in combination with research, show that women improve productivity.
The research also shows that the advantages of women and their leadership styles are not dependent on women being a minority group in elected office; the benefits will continue as long as women continue serving. This is supported by studies in the business world, which show that having women in leadership roles helps increase profits. If productivity is the legislative equivalent of business profits, then electing women is the key to success for government efficacy.
Representation of the people is a fundamental pillar of a functioning democracy; yet, half of our population is underrepresented at every level of government.
To fulfill our country’s commitment to true democracy and to the values of liberty and equality, we must close this gap. Better representation will ensure women’s voices are heard and their issues fairly recognized, as studies show that women legislators are more likely than men to address women’s interests.
Representation in government affects more than just policy - it’s a tool for social empowerment.
The current underrepresentation of women in office is robbing future generations of women leaders and pioneers and preventing progress in our communities.
Studies show that “the presence of highly visible female politicians" inspires political engagement and aspirations amongst young girls and women, and that men also increase their involvement when more women candidates are on the ballot.
For a better government and society for all Americans, women’s representation is key.
Today’s political climate is a source of frustration for many Americans, as polarized beliefs and vindictive rhetoric engulf the nation. But women’s representation can help revive the declining bipartisan relationships that are absolutely necessary for our democracy to function.
Studies show women in elected office:
The heightened bipartisan collaboration that comes with women’s representation would create more respectful dialogue and keep politics focused on policy, not party.
The challenges and life experiences unique to women inform their policies and leadership styles, meaning they tackle issues from different angles than men do. By better representing women’s perspectives, we can revitalize and diversify policymaking.
The election of women has been shown to result in policies that:
Furthermore, an American University report finds that women legislators “work harder for their constituents,” and a study on city councils confirms that females “spend more time doing constituency service.”
While women’s leadership techniques are not inherently superior to men’s, the distinct priorities and traits they bring to the table may resonate better with some groups.
Today, Americans’ trust in their government is exceptionally frail - only 4% believe they can rely on Washington to do the right thing “just about always.”
The representation of women is a formidable solution to this distrust.
For example, the presence of women in government makes women voters feel that their issues are understood by their elected bodies, thus increasing confidence.
This is reinforced by the tendency of female politicians to make personal connections with their constituents, reassuring both men and women that their opinions have real impact on policymakers’ decisions.