Working Group on Women and Representation
While women are half of the population, they are less than a quarter of elected U.S. political leaders. Research finds important procedural and policy consequences resulting from unbalanced representation. Legislatures with more women are more likely to discuss – and pass – legislation relating to women, children, and families. Men and women have significantly different opinions on hot-button public policy issues, including foreign policy, education, social safety net issues, and gun control. Having more gender balance in our national and state legislative bodies would make democracy more representative both descriptively, which has important role model effects for young women, and substantively. Political deliberation and negotiation also change in critical ways when women, as well as men, are participants.
SSN scholars in the Working Group on Women and Representation are at the forefront of this research. They are well-positioned to prepare briefs, media contributions, consultations, and public presentations that highlight the benefits to having more women in office, diagnose the current challenges women face in running for office, and suggest a number of intervention strategies to address these.