Tools to increase the number of women in politics

May 21, 2012

She Should Run

As election season is in full swing, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) wants to highlight two, non-partisan, grassroots movements working to raise the profile of women leaders in politics.  The first, She Should Run, is an organization dedicated to dramatically increasing the number of women in public leadership by eliminating and overcoming barriers to success.  According to their site, only 17 percent of women hold seats in congress and only 23 percent of women hold seats in state legislatures.  These numbers are striking considering women make up 51 percent of the United States population.

She Should Run implements two programs, She Should Run In Action and Name It, Change It.  Through an online tool, individuals can visit the She Should Run In Action site and formally ask a woman they believe would be an outstanding public servant to consider running for elected office.  This approach is based on research that demonstrates women are more likely to run for office if asked.  Name It, Change It addresses the second part of the organization’s mission, reducing barriers to success.  Because of sexism in the media, women often endure a disproportionate amount of damaging exposure which negatively affects their campaigns.  Through another online tool, people can go onto the site and report sexism in the media to hold all members of the press accountable.  In addition their latest tool, Name It, Change It, Candidate Guide, educates candidates, campaign managers, and political consultants on how to spot and respond to sexism.

Women and the Future of Politics

The second effort is 51%: Women and the Future of Politics.  Through this blog,, the organization is conducting a national survey to hear what Americans have to say about politics and politicians.  The findings from this survey will be compiled along with brief essays and commentaries from the public and statements from women leaders into a book.  To complete the survey by the May 31, 2012 deadline please visit: for the English version and for the Spanish version.