A thriving democracy is within our reach, and together, we can make it a reality.
We must level the playing field for women candidates of all backgrounds to run, win, and lead.
Electing more women will strengthen our democracy by better representing its rich diversity, reviving bipartisanship, improving policy outcomes, encouraging a new style of leadership, and cultivating trust in our elected bodies.
The U.S. ranks behind 100 other countries for women's representation, with women making up less than a quarter of every level of government. Yet progress is possible. With the momentum of a growing movement pushing us forward, we can win gender parity in our lifetimes - but only with new strategies that target the structural causes of women’s underrepresentation.
Pennsylvania ranks second-to-last out of all 50 states — ahead of only Mississippi — in electing women to representative positions in government, according to an organization called Representation2020. The Maryland-based initiative ranked every state in the U.S. this year and gave the commonwealth an F, with a “gender parity” score of 6.5 out of a goal of 50 points.Read More
The New York Times had several interesting pieces this week including this opinion piece entitled "Women's Voice Remains Faint in Politics" that decries the lack of women's representation in New York and other cities. And this piece on Angela Merkel who has lead Germany for the past 12 years examines the role that she has played and her legacy: Ms. Merkel has not made gender equality a signature issue. But during her time in office things have quietly evolved. Schools, which traditionally closed at lunchtime, relying on stay-at-home mothers, have gradually lengthened their hours. Child care, once anathema for children under 3, has been vastly extended. A paid parental leave has been introduced that nudges fathers to take at least two months. More recently, the government passed a law obliging large companies to replace departing members of their nonexecutive boards with women until they made up at least 30 percent. “She uses the same style of politics for gender that she uses elsewhere: She does not call for a revolution, she starts an evolution,” said Annette Widmann-Mauz, head of the Christian Democrats’ Women’s Union. But women in Germany are still paid 21 percent less than men — the European average is 16 percent — not least because they do not climb the career ladder. In some areas the number of women in leadership positions has actually been sliding back.Read More
There was a fascinating story on NPR about a new study on attitudes about women lawmakers which found that women think that women legislators have more integrity and are more competent: On the whole, women tend to view a female representative as being more competent, having more integrity and representing the district well. They also tend to approve of female legislators more. Meanwhile, men, on the whole, don't view women and men very differently on these measures. But these attitudes don't hold steady across parties — Republican women in particular get a boost from fellow women. "Women rate female Republican legislators more positively than they do male Republican legislators," the researchers write, "but neither women nor men rate Democratic legislators differently based on their gender." Another story in the Washington Post examined the impact that Chile's female president had on a major policy victory for women noting that women leaders do not always push 'women's policies' but that women leaders do develop networks of constituencies that are vital to legislative success: ...being a woman leader is not enough. Bachelet is one of the few female leaders in the world who has aggressively deployed her constitutional powers to pursue gender equality. About a quarter of countries today — including economic powerhouses like Germany, Brazil and the United Kingdom — have had at least one female president or prime minister, and yet few of these leaders pursued a “women-specific” agenda...New research suggests that networks and constituencies better explain why female presidents are more likely than male presidents to try to advance pro-women policies. Analyzing these factors shows why a president’s sex sometimes, but not always, matters.Read More
At the current rate of change, it will take centuries to achieve gender parity for women in elective office - we can't wait that long for an equal voice in government.
Sign Representation2020's Pledge for Parity to show your commitment to winning parity!