50/50 Representation: Empowering Women

We know that when women run for office they win at the same rates as men. The problem is they don’t run at the same rate. One reason? They aren’t asked to run.


A deeper conversation with daughters

 

From a very young age, girls are aware that leadership positions are far more often held by men than by women -- and this shapes their expectations about their own abilities and can dissuade them from pursuing leadership positions themselves. As Marian Wright Edelman wisely said, "you can't be what you can't see." 

We can help to undo these expectations by having conversations that look at the implicit messages young women absorb about leadership.

To facilitate this conversation, take a look at some of the resources below or begin by asking your daughter (or another young woman in your life) questions like: 

  • When you think of electing a President, what do you think this person looks like? Do you imagine a man or a woman? 
  • Why do you think that we've only had male Presidents and no female Presidents? 
  • What would help make more girls feel like they could be President? 
  • Would you want to run for school or class President? Why or why not? 

 

She Should Run Parents’ Course, including discussion and activities:

  • The She Should Run Parents' Course is a three-lesson guide for fostering leadership in young girls. The course activities are designed for girls aged five and nine, while the course readings are relevant for girls of all ages.  
  • Lessons are comprised of activities, readings, and tips for conversation. Lessons are organized around goals: sparking girls' interest and curiosity in politics and public service; confidence building; and fostering and encouraging leadership. 

 

  • The IGNITE Toolkit for pre-teens includes conversation guides for talking to pre-teens about two discussion topics: women as political leaders and dissecting social issues.  
  • The Toolkit also provides activities, including watching a debate and volunteering in your community

 

IGNITE Toolkit: How to Engage your Teen Daughter in Politics

  • The IGNITE Toolkit for teens includes conversation guides for talking to teenagers about two discussion topics: women as political leaders and dissecting social issues.
  • The Toolkit also provides activities, including watching a film about women in politics and volunteering for a candidate. 

 

Encourage a woman to run for office

 

Resources to get started

Organizations that help women run for office

 

Write a letter to encourage a friend or other woman to run for office. Try writing this letter to yourself!

Dear [Name],

I have been so inspired by your commitment to [issue or cause], and I know you have what it takes to make a difference. I hope you will consider running for [public office] – with your [personal trait], I know you can [discuss goal]. I hope you will decide to run. You have my vote!

Your friend,

[Your name]


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  • Jordan Smith


  • ★ 50/50 Representation

    Why should good government depend on only half of the nation’s human capital? WCF commits to 50/50 representation of women and men in elected office by 2028.

  • ★ Common Ground

    Common ground just means problems get solved more collaboratively, for the good of more people. It’s the bedrock of our leadership at home and abroad.

  • ★ Viability for Election

    It takes more than money to make a candidate worth electing. WCF looks for guts, street sense, situational awareness, resilience -- the full range of gifts a woman brings to the race.

  • ★ Non-Partisan

    A woman’s place is in every party, every elected office, at every level. Period.