American women hold twelve percent of governor’s seats and make up seventeen percent of Congress. If these numbers sound low, that’s because they are. The United States ranks a stunning 85 in the world in women’s parliamentary representation. No matter which side of the aisle prevails in the upcoming mid-term elections, both sides can agree the US needs to draw on one hundred percent of its citizens’ talents to meet our huge challenges. Many factors contribute to the gender gap in political leadership, but a recent study sponsored by the new “Name It. Change It.” campaign highlights the key role of sexism in the media’s treatment of female candidates. This sexism acts both to deter women from running for office and also decreases their chances of success when they do throw their hats in the ring.


Hunt, Swanee, and Kerry Healey. "Ending the 'Hot or Not' Factor for Nikki Haley and Female Candidates." Christian Science Monitor, October 27, 2010.