- Women are only 18 percent of Congress and 24 percent of state legislators.
- Most women candidates are significantly underfunded compared to men.
- Issues like domestic violence, women’s healthcare, and the poverty of female-headed poor families are neglected by most politicians today.
- Women, according to national polls, are generally more supportive of social problems supporting poor people, of education and health care programs, and less supportive of military action
According to the Center for American Women and Politics, women hold only 22 percent of statewide elected offices, 24 percent of state legislative offices and less than 20 percent of the seats in Congress. Considering that women make up over half the U.S. population, these numbers are painfully low. The present system of private campaign funding by a small group of wealthy individuals is inaccessible for most women who would like to run for office. Men contribute the majority of campaign money to candidates. Women still earn less than men, and contribute significantly less to political campaigns.
Women’s serious fundraising disadvantage is a major source of their under-representation in elective office. With Fair Elections, however, women have a chance to run for office without depending on big contributions. In states like Maine, Arizona, and Connecticut with “fair elections” public financing options for candidates, more women have run for office and won than in the past when only private contributions were allowed. Fair elections systems play to women’s strengths and make it more affordable to run for office.