September 5, 2010

83% of the U.S. Congress are men. More than 3/4 of state legislators are men. Men hold 44 of the governor positions. And men run 93 of the nation’s 100 largest cities.

Do you get this? Only 17% of those elected to the U.S. Congress are women. Only 1/4 of the state legislators are women. Only 6 of 50 governors are women. And only 7 women are mayors of the nation’s 100 largest cities.

This is awful. Terrible. I hope you are as embarassed and angry as I am.

How does the USA compare to the rest of the world? Very very poorly. Apparently the US ranks 82nd in the world in the number of women in our federal legislature.

Is it getting better? No, actually worse.

How can we elect more women? More women need to run. How do we get more women to run? Political parties need to recruit and endorse women. By the way, 69% of female state legislators are Democrats. And 77% of the women in Congress are Dems. Come on Republican Party…recruit more women to run.

My colleague Jennifer Lawless is the director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University. Jen’s an expert and researcher on women’s political participation. Read “No new dawn for women in politics,” a special to CNN, June 9, 2010.

Filed under: Social Commentary

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

Get non-profit resources in your inbox