PITTSBURGH: Observers around the country have noted an uptick in the number of women running for political office, and some areas of Pennsylvania appear to be no exception to this trend with recent data collected by the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics (PCWP) at Chatham University indicating that women ran for and won more Southeast Pennsylvania municipal offices in 2017 than in 2015.
In 2015, PCWP tallies revealed that less than a quarter of candidates (24.7 percent) in Southeastern Pennsylvania were women—Philadelphia (38.5 percent), Bucks (28 percent), Delaware (22 percent), Montgomery (21.5 percent), and Chester (26 percent). In the same area in 2017, 39.5 percent of candidates were women.
Preliminary results of data collected from the November election indicate that across Southeast Pennsylvania approximately 41.5 percent of the winners in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties were women. In Philadelphia, where only a few races were on the ballot, women represented 62 percent of those who won their races (8 women). Many more offices were contested in the collar counties; in Bucks County 45 percent of winners were women (142 women), while women represented 42 percent of the winners in Delaware (139 women) and Montgomery (167 women) Counties. Chester County’s tally was somewhat lower, with 35 percent (96 women) female winners. The 2015 and 2017 results are based, in each county, on candidates and results available in those respective election cycles.
PITTSBURGH: The Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics (PCWP) at Chatham University reports that while women hold only 19 percent of seats in the Pennsylvania General Assembly—magnifying the underrepresentation of women in American politics—the PCWP found that when women are elected to office, they are more likely to advocate for women’s issues, are more successful at guiding legislation through the legislative process and can help create a more collaborative lawmaking environment.
In a recent study, “Few But Mighty: Women and Bill Sponsorship in the Pennsylvania General Assembly” looked to answer the question “Could Pennsylvania stand to benefit from more women legislators? And “How does the underrepresentation of women in Pennsylvania’s legislature affect policy for women in the state?”
PITTSBURGH: The Pittsburgh Chapter of the International Women’s Forum (IWF), a global organization comprised of more than 6,500 dynamic women leaders in thirty-five countries and seventy-six forums around the world, has provided financial funding to help support the 2017 Elsie Hillman Chair in Women and Politics event. The gift was made in honor of Elsie Hillman, who passed away in 2015.
PITTSBURGH: Lifelong friends, Donna Brazile and Mary Matalin,will deliver a public lecture at the Campbell Memorial Chapel on Chatham’s Shadyside Campus at 6:00 pm on April 11, 2016. Brazille and Matalin are the featured speakers for the 2016 Elsie Hillman Chair in Women and Politics at Chatham University. Registration for the public lecture is available on the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics website.
The Elsie Hillman Chair in Women and Politics was established by The Hillman Foundation, Inc. in 1997 to honor the Pittsburgh, PA native and long-time political native. The purpose of the chair is to bring nationally renowned political leaders, scholars, and activists to Chatham University to enrich the experiences of students and educate citizens about the role of women in the political process. Recent honorees have included ABC news correspondent Cokie Roberts, NPR anchor Gwen Ifill, and Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine.
Additional support for 2016 Hillman Chair lecture has been provided by Tom and Bonnie VanKirk `81.
PITTSBURGH: The Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics (PCWP) is releasing preliminary findings from a statewide research project (including a survey of Pennsylvania voters) that details inadequacies in childcare policy in the state and voter attitudes toward state policies.
PCWP Assistant Director, Dr. Jennie Sweet-Cushman, will present the preliminary results of the research report and the survey of Pennsylvania voters at Chatham University’s launch of its new Women’s Institute on Saturday, November 7, 2015. The full report, Is This the Care We Need?: An Examination of Childcare Policy in Pennsylvania, will be released in early 2016.
PITTSBURGH: Dana Brown, Ph.D., the Executive Director of The Pennsylvania Center for Women In Politics at Chatham University, has been appointed a member of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. The Commission for Women consists of twenty-six members from across the state of Pennsylvania, and acts as an advocate for policies and legislation it feels serves the best interest of women and girls in Pennsylvania.
PITTSBURGH: Cokie Roberts, political commentator for ABC News, is Chatham University’s Elsie Hillman Chair in Women and Politics for the 2014-15 academic year. The Elsie Hillman Chair is an honor that is awarded by the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics (PCWP) at Chatham University with financial support from the Hillman Foundation. Recent honorees have included NPR anchor, Gwen Ifill, and Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine.
Ms. Roberts will deliver a public lecture at the Campbell Memorial Chapel on Chatham’s Shadyside Campus at 6:00 pm on April 1, 2015. Registration is available on the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics website. The evening is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University and the Hillman Foundation.