Women Make Up Half the Population, So Why Do They Only Hold 20 Percent Of Elected Offices?


Women make up 51% of the population, but hold less than 20% of elected offices in America. This disparity is not an indication of women’s inability to lead, but rather a reflection of the cultural, social, and other barriers women face when considering running for office or as a political candidate. Despite these challenges, when women do run, they tend to win. So how do we overcome the obstacles to change the imbalance and gender inequity in U.S. politics?  

51%: Women and the Future of Politics is an upcoming book that addresses these critical issues affecting the progress and future of women's political leadership. By analyzing how gender differences and misrepresentation in politics intersect with the U.S. government, society, and history, 51% provides a thought-provoking discourse for the empowerment of women in politics.

Since the dawn of women’s social and sexual liberation in the 1960s, the feminist movement has created clear dichotomies in explaining the power relations of men and women: the privileged and unprivileged, oppressor and the oppressed, and so on. However, to truly understand the gender divide, we must, as the modern feminist philosopher Susan Bordo puts it, “abandon the idea of power as something possessed by one group and leveled against another.” Rather, we must recognize how various institutions and systems of meaning perpetrate one group’s control in a particular setting.

51%: Women and the Future of Politics examines how the U.S. government is one such institution. With findings from a nation-wide survey about politics in America, exclusive statements from US Congresswoman and other leaders, and a comparison of political representation and gender equity in other nations, 51% offers readers key insight on how U.S. politics can change for the better.

For young women entering into politics, Congresswoman Barbara Lee suggested that they should: “find something to commit themselves to that they are truly passionate about, and do everything in their power to do something about it.”

The Congresswoman’s statement is one of many inspirational messages from women leaders found in 51%: Women and the Future of Politics.

As the book indicates, the time for advancing women’s empowerment in U.S. politics is now. Look for more to come when 51%: Women and the Future of Politics is released later this year. Check out the website for more information or follow @51percentwwwd on Twitter. Find something that you are truly passionate about and do something about it. Participate in the mission of women’s empowerment in politics now and for our future.