Women are the majority of Americans yet only make up 31.2% of state legislators.
Women are the majority of Americans yet only make up 31.2% of state legislators. Women of color are a rapidly-growing share of the electorate, representing almost one-third of all voting-age women, but only a small share of state legislators; 73.3 percent of women state legislators identified as white. Because we do not have equitable representation in elected leadership, our government fails to recognize us as the force that we are. For generations, the systems that govern our society have intentionally excluded women — particularly, women of color, immigrant women, LGBTQIA+ women, and women with disabilities. These systems are operating as intended. It is time that our government represents us.
States can strengthen the political power of women, for example by:
- Modernizing state legislatures by increasing legislator compensation.
- Reforming campaign finance laws by establishing small donor public financing of elections and allowing candidates to utilize campaign funds for child care expenses.
- Protecting and strengthening our freedom to vote by creating a state election holiday, providing multilingual ballot access, and establishing a state version of the voting rights act with state-level preclearance law for local elections.
Click to hear from Vote Mama Foundation’s chief program officer, Sarah Hague