The AAUW Footsteps Project: Elect HER!
"Because Equity is Still an Issue."
For more information: AAUW Fact Sheets and Position Papers on Affirmative Action, Athletics, Education, Managed Care Reform, Reproductive Rights, and Social Security Reform.
'Elect Her' panel on The Campbell Conversations - Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher speaks with Syracuse University senior Alexandra Curtis, a particpant in the Elect Her initiative, and Kathleen Gore with the American Association of University Women, a sponsor of Elect Her. (May 18, 2014)
Updated: February 6, 2018
- For every woman in political office in, there are three men.
- ‘Unbought and unbossed’: Shirley Chisholm’s feminist mantra is still relevant 50 years later - Chisholm had the audacity, and the political talent, to run for a newly drawn New York congressional seat in 1968 without the backing of the Brooklyn Democratic Party bosses. She described herself as “the people’s politician,” fighting for higher wages for working people and more money for public education and demanding respect for black Americans and women. When she got to Capitol Hill, she challenged institutional customs, pushing her way into spaces that had been the reserve of white men, making friends and enemies on both sides of the aisle by following her own political playbook. As of this month, 439 women have filed or expressed interest in running for Congress — nearly twice the number of women in the same position as two years ago, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics.
- The Coming Election Is Going to Be a Tidal Wave of Women Running for Office - Across the country, the first big political wave of 2018 isn’t voters—it’s candidates lining up for Democratic primaries up and down the ladder in unprecedented volumes. And just as many mainstream media outlets underreported the flood of women who marched last weekend (it wasn’t thousands, it was millions), this flood of candidates is led by progressive women. “To date, 390 women are planning to run for the House of Representatives, a figure that’s higher than at any point in American history,” wrote Rebecca Traister, for New York magazine’s January 23 issue. “Twenty-two of them are non-incumbent black women — for scale, there are only 18 black women in the House right now. Meanwhile, 49 women are likely to be running for the Senate, more than 68 percent higher than the number who’d announced at the same point in 2014.”
- A Year Ago, They Marched. Now a Record Number of Women Are Running for Office - Call it payback, call it a revolution, call it the Pink Wave, inspired by marchers in their magenta hats, and the activism that followed. There is an unprecedented surge of first-time female candidates, overwhelmingly Democratic, running for offices big and small, from the U.S. Senate and state legislatures to local school boards. At least 79 women are exploring runs for governor in 2018, potentially doubling a record for female candidates set in 1994, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. The number of Democratic women likely challenging incumbents in the U.S. House of Representatives is up nearly 350% from 41 women in 2016. Roughly 900 women contacted Emily’s List, which recruits and trains pro-choice Democratic women, about running for office from 2015 to 2016; since President Trump’s election, more than 26,000 women have reached out about launching a campaign. The group had to knock down a wall in its Washington office to make room for more staff.
- Five Years After Sandy Hook, US Gun-Control Advocates Switch Strategy - Instead of pressuring lawmakers to push new gun-control measures through the U.S. Congress, volunteers from groups including Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are now running for office themselves. Nine of 13 volunteers trained by the group ran for office this year and won seats, ranging from New Hampshire state representative to city council member in West University Place, Texas. Fourteen more have already declared their intentions to run for office in 2018, seeking seats in Congress, state legislatures and local government, all running as Democrats.
- There's proof: electing women radically improves life for mothers and families - When Iceland elected a female president in 1980, it set off a domino effect that turned it into one of the most egalitarian countries. In this small nation, there is a near-unquestioned conviction based on decades of evidence that electing women to positions of power benefits women and families. And at a time when American women, galvanized by the election of Donald Trump, are showing unprecedented interest in entering the political arena themselves, Iceland can provide both a roadmap and a promise for what’s possible.
- Democratic women running more, giving more money heading into 2018 - Since 2000, Democratic women running in House races have received the highest percentage of campaign contributions from women — 39.7 percent per cycle on average — while Republican men have drawn the lowest percentage from women (23.7 percent). So far in the 2018 election cycle, the disparity has only increased.
- More mothers of young kids running for office - Traditionally, women have waited until their children are older to run for office, if they choose to run at all. In a country with few social supports for working families, having young families is seen as a barrier to political ambition for many women, who still manage the lion’s share of responsibilities at home. But a growing number of women with young children are waging campaigns amid the surge of Democratic female candidates running in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. Amanda Litman, co-founder of the Run for Something organization that supports first-time candidates, said that two-thirds of the 11,000 prospective candidates who have expressed interest since the election are women, many of whom have children.
- Will America Ever Have a Woman President? - A year ago, it seemed like a safe bet. Today, it feels further away than ever. 20 women consider what it would take to get there. We asked women (yes, all women) from a range of fields for their insights into why it hasn’t happened—plus when, and how, that could change. Their answers drilled into the structure of American politics, the power of family dynamics in our decisions, the shifting preferences of voters and the pipeline of women candidates themselves. And if partisan competition is the only certainty in American politics today, champions of women’s leadership have this to hold onto: Democrats and Republicans each claimed their party would get the first woman into the White House.
- Religious leaders on the challenges of our time; why the lack of female politicians? - As senseless acts of violence rip through our community and our country, Rochester-area religious leaders come together to discuss the challenges of our time on this edition of Need to Know. Also on the show, some states saw a surge of women running for political office this election season, but there’s still a significant gender gap. We’ll discuss the reasons more women aren’t running for office and what can be done to help change that.
- Women racked up victories across the country Tuesday. It may be only the beginning. - Women racked up victories across the country on Tuesday, and are being credited with the Democrats’ big night overall. It is a testament to the remarkable explosion of women candidates who have entered the political stage since Donald Trump was elected president one year ago. The wave is likely to continue. In 2018, 40 women are already planning to run for governor. Dozens more are considering congressional and other statewide office bids. And Tuesday’s result has already become a rallying cry for activists seeking to draw even more women into the public square. Many of the newly elected women heading to the statehouse had never run for office before. Democrats were far more aggressive at fielding candidates this year. In the past, many GOP incumbents had gone unchallenged. Jennifer Lawless, from American University, said the lesson from Virginia, where so many usually safe incumbents lost, is to mount more challenges and not merely go for open seats.
- Danica Roem of Virginia to be first openly transgender person elected, seated in a U.S. statehouse - Virginia’s most socially conservative state lawmaker was ousted from office Tuesday by Danica Roem, a Democrat who will be one of the nation’s first openly transgender elected officials and who embodies much of what Del. Robert G. Marshall fought against in Richmond. “Discrimination is a disqualifier,” a jubilant Roem said Tuesday night as her margin of victory became clear. “This is about the people of the 13th?District disregarding fear tactics, disregarding phobias?.?.?. where we celebrate you because of who you are, not despite it.”
- First openly transgender African American woman elected - Andrea Jenkins won a seat on the Minneapolis City Council, becoming the first openly transgender African American woman ever elected to public office in the U.S.
- Pivot Counties: How the 206 Obama-Obama-Trump counties intersect with Congressional districts - There were 18 counties in New York so identified.
- Departures Promise to Reshape the House, Whether or Not Election Does - With a year left before the midterm elections, the line of senior House Republicans heading for the exits continues to grow. Democrats argue that the wave of retirements will help them retake the House. In all, 27 House Republicans have left, announced their retirements or declared that they were seeking higher office, compared with seven Democrats.
- 100 years since the right to vote, efforts continue to get more women to run for office - On Nov. 6, New York is marking 100 years since women first got the right vote in the state. That means a lot of celebrations and things like special stickers you can get at your polling place on election day. But it also means looking at the current state of women in politics and other fields. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul joins us to discuss the efforts.
- At Women’s Convention in Detroit, a Test of Momentum and Focus - Nine months after the Women’s March, about 4,000 people, mostly women, gathered in Detroit this weekend for the Women’s Convention, which was seen as an extension — and also a test — of the movement that grew out of those marches. For all the disparate topics at this meeting, one thread ran through them all: opposition to the Trump administration and a pointed focus on elections next year. In small rooms, speakers led detailed training sessions for candidates at all levels: how to get the vote out, how to give a campaign speech, how to register voters, how to run for office. “The goal here is for people to go back to their local communities and prepare for 2018 and to build power, register voters, engage more people, organize on a very hyper level,” said Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers of the Women’s March and of this convention, which leaders here view as the first of its kind since women met in Houston in 1977. “We’re excited to see what happens in 2018.”
- Canning O’Reilly and other media men won’t change a thing. Here’s what would. - “It shouldn’t be forgotten that sexual harassment is often more about abuse of power than sex,” wrote former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, who with journalist Jane Mayer chronicled Anita Hill’s sexual harassment claims against Clarence Thomas during his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings in their book, “Strange Justice.” That kind of equity makes a difference. Having a critical mass of women decision-makers, rather than a token presence, allows ideas to bubble up and voices to be heard in new ways. This is, of course, true for racial diversity, too.
- Women — and the Power of the Purse — Will Be Key in 2018 - Female donors are skyrocketing and more women are considering runs. The number of female donors to federal candidates and committees has skyrocketed by roughly 284 percent so far in the 2017-18 election cycle compared with this time in the 2015-16 cycle, according to research from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The number of women donating to a federal campaign has increased by a staggering 670 percent when compared with the early months of the 2011-12 cycle. Still, despite the gains among women donors — and candidates — men continue to keep the edge among contributors and members of Congress. Women make up 50.8 percent of the country’s population, according to the 2010 census, but hold 21 out of 100 Senate seats and represent about 19 percent of voting House members.
- Millennials running for office set out to blow government status quo out of the water - Many of us are led to believe we’d never be able to run because we don’t have the credentials, don’t have the money, don’t have the experience... Don’t sell yourself short. Change your community, change your city, change your country—change your world. Run for office. Support those who run. This is how it begins.
- Welcome to the Trump Jump: These Women Are Ready to Take On the Most Powerful Men in Congress - More than 15,000 women across the country who have contacted Emily’s List in 2017 to express interest in running for office—a new record for the organization. Or, perhaps, a Trump jump: women rising up to fight back against a president and a GOP governing class that have been notoriously hostile in their policies toward them and to the few women in their ranks—women comprise only about one-fifth of all Congress members (84 in the House and 21 in the Senate). They’ve watched as senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are interrupted and silenced by their male colleagues, and lamented that at an all-male cohort of senators retreated behind closed doors to draft a Senate health-care bill that would have imperiled millions of women’s health, from maternity care to access to birth control.
- New York City lags behind in numbers of women holding office - New York lags behind other cities in the nation and abroad when it comes to women holding office — and the disparity could get even worse, according to a report from the Women’s Caucus. Just 26% of the City Council’s members are women. Nationwide, 34% of the members of the city council’s representing the 100 most populous cities, taken together, are women. “More women in office means more women and child-friendly legislation and — particularly as hostile politicians attempt to roll back our rights at the federal level — it is critically important that we stand together and advocate for women in our cities and states,” Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, co-chair of the caucus, said. The council falls behind individual cities as well — Phoenix’s council is 50% women, Seattle’s is 55%, and Austin’s is 70%, according to the report.
- What it will take for women to win - Women are more politically mobilized than ever before — but that’s not enough to get them into office. A POLITICO investigation reveals what’s really stopping women from breaking through. The gender gap in political ambition was a solid 15 percentage points—consistent with research going back over a decade. Men were twice as likely as women to have “seriously” considered running.
- After 2016 Election, Girls Ready to Break Politics’ Glass Ceiling - There are numerous girls for whom the recent presidential election piqued interest in politics. This interest may help close the political gender gap, as women currently comprise only 19 percent of the U.S. Congress. This is a statistic that many other girls and women hope will change after the 2018 mid-term elections.
- First They Marched, Now More Than 13,000 Women Are Planning to Run for Office - According to a She Should Run spokesperson, in a normal month the organization sees “at best, and with significant effort, anywhere between a few dozen to a few hundred women” sign up. But in the three months since the election, co-founder and CEO Erin Loos Cutraro said 8,100 women have indicated their interest in running for office by registering for She Should Run’s online incubator program, which teaches them how.
- How Do You Inspire Women to Run for Office? Elect Trump. - In the weeks since the election, organizations that recruit and train women to run for office have reported unprecedented interest in their programs, mainly from women disturbed by the strident misogyny of this election cycle or troubled by the threats Trump and his appointees pose to their rights. The groups working to meet the surge of women considering candidacy have decades of accumulated knowledge about the gendered obstacles to women running for office, the specific challenges they face as candidates, and how to turn a concerned citizen into an effective public leader.
- Women Actually Do Govern Differently - Women govern differently than men do in some important ways. They tend to be more collaborative and bipartisan. They push for far more policies meant to support women, children, social welfare and — when they’re in executive positions — national security. But these bills are also more likely to die, largely because of gender bias, research shows.
- ‘It Really Does Get Into Your Head.’ The Election, Through the Eyes of Teenage Girls. - They are too young to vote, but old enough to follow the news. For teenage girls, this gender bomb of an election is happening just as they are starting to form their identities as young women.
- Women Set To Make Gains In Congress, But Still Have A Long Way To Go - The good news is that a record number of 40 women filed to run for the Senate this year (15 won their primaries). A total of 272 women filed to run for the House, and a new record of 167 women won their primaries, narrowly passing the past benchmark set in 2012, according to data from Rutgers.
- The Case for Athletes in Office: How women with sports backgrounds are changing the political arena - A 2013 study from the Women & Politics Institute found that women who played sports were 25% more likely to express political aspirations than those who did not.
- Sexual harassment of female MPs widespread, report says - Sexual harassment and even violence against female parliamentarians is widespread, a report from a global parliamentary grouping suggests. Of the women who took part in the survey, 65.5% said they had been the target of insults using sexual language and imagery. The report suggested humiliating remarks from male colleagues were commonplace.
- Men Are Treating 2016 As A ‘Normal’ Election; Women Aren’t - We could be looking at the largest gender gap in a presidential election since at least 1952: Men are favoring the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, in typical numbers, but a historically overwhelming share of women say they will vote for the Democrat, Hillary Clinton.
- Lisa Maatz: Millennial Women Will Be The Difference In This Election - This election year, a lot of attention has been given to what’s being called the Rising American Electorate, a moniker coined by the Voter Participation Center, which is made up of unmarried women, people of color, and millennials. Women make up half the population and are the majority of voters, yet young women are not exercising their full electoral might.
- Young women should hear that we desperately need their political voices. - So what am I going to say to these young women? I'm going to tell them that politics is the mechanism we use to make laws and to solve problems. It is meant to be a representative system where every group's voice is heard, and where disparate voices must compromise and collaborate to find the best solutions to problems.
- Women's Equality: A National Monument (Video) - In a special documentary episode of To The Contrary, Bonnie Erbe explores the historic Belmont Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, the final headquarters of the National Woman’s Party. Declared a national monument in 2016 by President Barack Obama, the 200-year-old home sitting on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. is a treasure trove of the Women’s Suffrage Movement.
- Why aren’t there more women in Congress? - The United States is falling behind on women's representation in government. We have not experienced the influx of female legislators into our political system in the way dozens of other countries have. In 1997, the United States ranked 52nd in the world for women’s representation in government. This year, we fell to 97th.
- 10 Times Women Gave Great Advice on Running for Office - In 2015, Elect Her trained women to run for office on 50 college campuses across the country, and the advice and encouragement that attendees get from the program really works. In fact, 76 percent of Elect Her alumnae who ran for office won! Elect Her alumnae win because they learn from the best: expert facilitators, local elected officials, communications experts, and other student leaders on their campuses.
- Run like a Girl: Women Presidential Candidates throughout History - It’s no secret that in the United States, women face barriers to leadership — especially in the political realm. Women represent only 19 percent of Congress, 24 percent of state legislatures, and 12 percent of governors. But that doesn’t mean women haven’t tried. Women have been running for president of the United States since 1872 — before women even had the right to vote. And this year, two high-profile women entered the race. Here are some of the women who have tried to crack the ultimate glass ceiling.
- Why We Need More Women's Voices in Congress
- Walking in the Footsteps of… Building Women’s Political Capacity
- The 2012 Project
Why We Need More Women's Voices in Congress:
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