Record Year for Number of Women Running for Congress

The Center for American Women and Politics  (CAWP) at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, announced that this year marks a record year in the number of women running for congress.

This information comes from CAWP’s campaign to track and increase the number of women in congress and state legislatures. The campaign is called The 2012 Project, and it has made resources available to women interested in running for office, working on political campaigns, or holding appointative office. CAWP identifies development and training programs, political action committees, and organizations committed to supporting women in politics. State-by-state and national resources are listed online.

The 2012 Project’s three-pronged strategy, via CAWP:

  • Direct outreach to executive-level, accomplished women in the private and public sectors who have not previously considered running for office. Outreach to women of color is a priority.
  • Mobilization of existing state-based coalitions that will carry out the mission of The 2012 Project in locations where opportunities for women to run are greatest.
  • Launch of a large-scale public education campaign to raise awareness about the lack of women in elected office and the unique opportunities of the 2012 election.

The 2012 Project has many allies, including the American Association of University Women, the League of Conservation Voters, National Congress of Black Women, Veterans Campaign, and Voices of Conservative Women. You can view the whole list on their website.

According to CAWP, the U.S. ranks 78th in the world for percentage of women in office. However, this statistic could be slowly changing for the better; 298 women have filed House papers for the 2012 season, and 154 of those women have won their primaries! Currently only 17% of Congress is female, even though women make 51% of the population and 56% of voters. You can keep track of statistics and numbers on the CAWP 2012 Women’s Election Tracker. Check back often to see the latest information about filing dates, primary election winners, open seats, and more.

If you want to see more women in government, you also have to get out and vote! Update your registration through your local board of elections office. If you live in Monroe County, you can visit their website to update your information and find your polling place.

About Kaitlin Legg

Former Program Assistant at the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Rochester.
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