Program Seeks to Increase the Number of Women in Elected Office
WASHINGTON – Elect Her–Campus Women Win, a program designed to expand the pipeline of women running for elected office in college and beyond, heads to 50 colleges and universities in 27 states, the District of Columbia, and Jamaica next year. The program’s 2014 expansion to include 17 new sites was announced today by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Running Start, which joined forces in 2009 to change the face of politics.
After the last cycle of trainings, 88 percent of the Elect Her participants who ran for student government president won.
“More women see themselves as leaders because of Elect Her,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “We need women leaders because they change the conversation, whether it’s in student government, city hall, or Congress. If there had been more women’s voices on both sides of the table, the recent government shutdown may have been avoided altogether. Women’s leadership in striking a deal to reopen the government shows that a diversity of perspectives is crucial.”
While 20 women now serve in the Senate, an all-time high, women are still underrepresented at all levels of government. Likewise, among U.S. News & World Report’s top 50 colleges, men account for more than two-thirds of student government presidents even though nearly 60 percent of college students in the United States today are women.
Elect Her, which first debuted on nine campuses, will next year reach 50 sites, including community colleges, state schools, and minority-serving institutions.
“We are thrilled to launch the fourth year of Elect Her trainings, hosting our program at a record 50 colleges and universities. Each year I’m consistently impressed by the college women leaders we meet,” said Running Start Executive Director Jessica Grounds. “Running Start and AAUW are committed not only to equipping college women to lead on their campuses but also to imparting the message that we need them to consider leading in politics after college. We are addressing the lack of women political leaders head on by telling college women that their country needs their leadership.”
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. Learn more and join us at www.aauw.org.
Running Start is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that brings young women to politics so that they are knowledgeable about the process, invested in the outcome, and interested in participating as elected leaders. Our programs educate young women and girls about the importance of politics and imbue them with the skills they need to be leaders so that they can get the “running start” they need to achieve greater political power. With an earlier start in politics, women will climb higher on the leadership ladder, allowing more women to share in the decision-making power of this country. Find out more at Running Start’s website.