Progressive Information Project: She Should Run
By Kenneth Quinnell
The purpose of the Progressive Information Project is to more widely share resources and information created to advance progressive causes. A lot of good work is being done, but the average progressive often doesn't learn about it or know what is available. This series is designed to help alleviate that problem.
She Should Run has a very simple mission -- get more women to run for public office in the United States. In more detail:
WHY WE NEED MORE WOMEN
It is essential to the health and future of our country that 50% of our population have equal power and leadership. She Should Run is dedicated to helping this country achieve equality in public life for women.
WHERE WE STAND TODAY
- Women hold only 17% of the seats in Congress
- State Legislatures only have 23% women
- Only 6 out of 50 states have a female governor
The United States trails behind the rest of the world - ranking 94th in the number of women in our national legislature.*
Also, women are 50% less likely than men to seriously consider running for office, less likely than men actually to run for office, and far less likely to run for higher office. (Lawless and Fox, 2005).
Our She Should Run program gets women to think about running and helps them make a decision.
The original project the organization launched is She Should Run In Action:
To increase the number of women in government, we need more women across the country seriously considering running for office. She Should Run In Action informs individuals about the state of women in public office and mobilizes them to take action. Our online movement provides a tool to formally ask women to consider entering public life. The result is a powerful pipeline of women eager to learn more about a career in politics, from school boards to state legislatures to Congress. It is party neutral and designed with massive impact in mind.
For potential and actual women candidates, the organization offers weekly and monthly newsletters, a companion guide with specifics about the decision to run (only for members), connections to state and local resources and a series of tipsheets that are useful for candidates, including: Build Relationships and Skills Now, Determine Where You Can Best Serve, Get Involved With Your Party, Get to Know Campaign Finance, Learn the Basics, Conduct a Personal Inventory, Consult Friends and Family, and Determine if You Can Win.
A new project from She Can Win, in association with Political Parity and the Women's Media Center, is the 'Name It, Change It' campaign designed to track sexism against women candidates in the mainstream media.
Widespread sexism in the media is one of the top problems facing women. A highly toxic media environment persists for women candidates, often negatively affecting their campaigns. The ever-changing media landscape creates an unmonitored echo chamber, often allowing damaging comments to exist without accountability.
We must erase the pervasiveness of sexism against all women candidates — irrespective of political party or level of office — across all media platforms in order to position women to achieve equality in public office. We will not stand by as pundits, radio hosts, bloggers, and journalists damage women's political futures with misogynistic remarks. When you attack one woman, you attack all women.
The 'Name It, Change It' program has its own website with numerous tools relating to sexism in the media and a full candidate guide to spotting sexism in the media, the costs of letting it go unchallenged, and case studies of the harmful effects of sexist coverage.
She Should Run's website also contains some key research reports about women candidates and office holders. Vote With Your Purse details political contributions by women and to women candidates. Unlocking the Cabinet examines women appointees at the highest levels of government. There is also a ton of information about women in office.