Race

Race

While all women are underrepresented in elected office, women of color face additional barriers. 

 

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Women of color make up 19 percent of the U.S. population, but only make up:

 

 

The degree to which women of color are underrepresented makes it harder to increase their representation because of the huge advantage that incumbent candidates have over challengers in the majority of elections.

On average, women of color are of a lower income bracket than white men or women, which means that they face additional struggles when campaigning. When Nina Turner, former Ohio Senate minority whip, ran for Ohio secretary of state in 2014, she found that an obstacle to her fundraising was how donors typically decided how much money to give based on their perception of the candidate’s ability to fundraise. A candidate’s perceived ability to raise money is often dependent on the amount of money she has already raised, meaning that women of color often have the cards stacked against them.

“How do you create equity in funding African American and Latino women who have less access to fundraising money in the first place, if your standard for giving money is that the person has to hit a certain threshold?” - Nina Turner

 

There is hope for the representation of women of color moving forward. In November 2016, nine newly elected Congresswomen were women of color, leading to a total of 38 women of color holding seats in the U.S. House of Representatives - an all time record. This upward trajectory is great news for our national progress towards gender parity.

 

Check out our Milestones page to learn more about women breaking barriers throughout history.

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