Since 2001, The Barbara Lee Family Foundation has partnered with The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University to work towards our shared goals of promoting greater knowledge about women’s participation in politics and government and enhancing women’s leadership in public life. In its almost 40 years of research, CAWP has become nationally recognized as the leading source of scholarly data about American women’s political participation.
The Foundation funded “Poised to Run: Women’s Pathways to the State Legislature.” This report provides an unprecedented look at how women reach the legislatures and how women’s election to office has changed over time. Using data from a nationwide survey of legislatures, CAWP compared women with their male colleagues in their decisions to seek office, previous political experience, and personal background. “Poised to Run” tells us that:
- women need to be recruited
- political parties matter
- organizations help women run
- more women can run
- resources are important.
Download the full “Poised to Run” report [pdf]
In 2005 and 2006 the Foundation supported CAWP’s Pipeline Research Project, a program designed to bring together academic scholars and activists to discuss the decline of women running for local office. CAWP hosted a 2-day retreat which was attended by many prominent experts in women’s political participation (including Barbara Lee) and synthesized the information gathered at this retreat to identify concrete next steps for researching women running for elected office.