Women's Representation


After a decades-long struggle, American women won the right to vote in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. A century later, women face a new challenge: parity. Today, the United States ranks 99th for the percentage of women in the lower house of its national legislature. This disparity exists on all levels of government. Women hold a only five governorships, less than a quarter of state legislative seats, and are mayors in only 12 of our 100 largest cities.

In recognition of this deficit and in honor of the approaching centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, FairVote's Representation 2020 initiative is working to build a national coalition of organizations and individuals who support measures that will allow women to achieve parity in elected office. We advance our 2020 Pledge on rules and practices that will increase women's representation and promote the inclusion of more female voices in the political sphere. We sponsor events highlighting these changes and release an annual report called The State of Women's Representation.  

Our research and advocacy focus on three structural reforms:

1. New party rules to ensure that political parties recruit and nominate more women candidates

2. The adoption of fair voting plans (proportional voting) with multi-member districts to increase the likelihood of women running for and winning elected office

3. Gender-conscious legislative practices to ensure that the legislative process is not biased against women. 

See more maps like this in FairVote's Mapping American Democracy series.