Archive for April, 2012

Where are the Women in 2012? Running for Office!

Posted in In the News on April 27th, 2012 by admin – 3 Comments

By Stephanie Schriock, President, EMILY’s List

Republicans have declared war on women — congressional panels discuss birth control with no women in sight, and GOP-led legislatures all over the country are finding more creative ways to limit our access to health care. In this environment, you couldn’t blame women for deciding that politics was not for them. There are some folks out there with reports suggesting that women are shying away from public office, not interested in running. But, frankly, the truth is far different.

I come from Montana, where individual liberty is a pretty big deal. And the right to take care of yourself is something we hold pretty dear. So I know how mad I got when Republicans started trying to chip away at my ability to make my own health care decisions, and I know I’m not the only woman who felt that way.

Rather than standing down, women are stepping forward in greater numbers than ever — as activists, as donors, and as candidates. In fact, 2012 is actually poised to be a historic year for women candidates.

Right now, there are 15 women running for the U.S. Senate, which is a record-breaking number. At EMILY’s List, we’ve made our own history by endorsing 11 of those women. To put those numbers in perspective, there are only 33 Senate seats up for election in 2012. That means that one in three Senate races this year involves an EMILY’s List-endorsed candidate. Our six incumbents up for reelection are in excellent shape running on their record of leadership over the past six years. And all five of our Senate challengers are ready to break glass ceilings — each would be the first woman senator to represent her state.

And it’s not just the Senate. We’re seeing women all across the country putting together strong campaigns at all levels, especially in the House. More women are stepping up to run for Congress every day. Pro-choice Democratic women are ready to oust the Tea Partiers, who promised to work on jobs and the economy, but pulled a bait-and-switch and launched an all-out attack on women’s rights instead.

In just this past year alone, EMILY’s List helped to add three more pro-choice Democratic women to congress through special elections. Electing Kathy Hochul, Janice Hahn and Suzanne Bonamici to the House of Representatives not only added more voices for women across the country, but also completely reversed the decline in the number of women in Congress we saw in 2010. Now, we are ready to gain some ground.

This Republican War on Women has driven women into the political process in a way we’ve never seen before. Women are not only stepping up as candidates, but as donors and as voters. At EMILY’s List, we’ve seen our community surpass more than one million members and more than double since the GOP took control of the House in 2011.

Poll after poll has shown women shying away from the Republicans’ divisive and restrictive agenda. Women will be the deciding voters in the 2012 elections. And thanks to the incredible number of outstanding female candidates running for office this year, there’s a compelling progressive alternative to that regressive agenda. Women candidates don’t want to turn back the clock on our rights; they want to focus on issues like jobs, the economy, and problems affecting families across the country.

So, where are the women? They are leaders in the House and Senate; they are working in legislatures across the country, and an incredible number of others are stepping up to join them. And come January 2013, we’re expecting to see a record number of Democratic women serving in the halls of our nation’s capitol.,b=facebook

Report Reveals Women Need to Increase Political Giving to Level the Playing Field

Posted in In the News on April 23rd, 2012 by admin – 1 Comment

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — She Should Run, working with the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), releases their Vote with Your Purse report today, revealing women lag drastically behind men in political giving. Using data from the 2010 election, which marks the United States’ first backslide in electing more women to office in over 30 years, the report shows correlation between the low recorded federal political contributions from women and their representation in Congress. Women made up just 26% of the total given to candidates, political action committees (PACs), and party committees in that election year, which is down from 31% in 2008.

The report identifies that in order to get more women elected to office, women must increase giving to female candidates. “Money is essential in winning campaigns,” says Sam Bennett, president and CEO of She Should Run. “If you don’t give, you don’t have a voice, so I urge women to put their money where their mouth is. As a nation where women make up over 50% of the population, yet only 17% of Congress, women must increase their political giving to other women to affect change and close the gender gap.

Data from CRP suggests if a majority of the US female population from different age groups, ethnicities and economic backgrounds gave just $5 to a female running for office, women could make significant strides toward a balance in political representation.

Vote with Your Purse underscores the fact electing more women to political office has never been so important,” says Bennett. “If women voters across parties give as little as $5 to one female candidate, it would be enough to run a female candidate in every House race with a budget of over $1 million each. Together, we can ensure 2012 will be a historic year for women in politics.”

Despite the gender gap in political giving, female candidates are good fundraisers. In 2010, female House incumbents raised approximately $100,000 more than their male peers and female challengers raised over $74,000 more than male peers.

Though women candidates excel in fundraising, men make up a greater portion of donations to female candidates. In 2010 only four of the 2,215 candidates relied on women for more than half of their campaign contributions.

Other important findings from this year’s Vote with Your Purse report include:

  • Only 27% of total contributions to individual candidates were made by women, representing a 6.3% decrease from 2008
  • In 2010, women made 30% of the total individual contributions to Democrats and just 25% of the total contributions to Republican candidates
  • Women made just 21% of the total contributions to PACs in 2010, down 1.8% from 2008
  • Women made 38% of the 2010 individual contributions to the Democratic National Committee, while women made 24% of contributions to the Republican National Committee

Data from past Vote with Your Purse reports explains women invest in political campaigns at lower rates because they do not think their money matters in showing support for a candidate and the issues they champion. Furthermore, women do not connect political leadership with positive, productive social change or view political giving as a civic responsibility.

“When they understand the connection between political leadership and social progress, women are more receptive to political giving,” says Bennett. “Women must realize their financial support is needed to make important change for women.”

The full report, which includes tips on how female candidates can increase women’s political giving, is available at

About She Should Run (

She Should Run is dedicated to dramatically increasing the number of women in public leadership by eliminating and overcoming barriers to success.

SOURCE She Should Run

Critical Issues for Women in This Year’s Presidential Race

Posted in In the News on April 19th, 2012 by admin – 3 Comments
by Essential Pittsburgh
April 16, 2012

The presidential candidates have been tangled in a number of issues that concern women, such as contraception access, abortions and ultra-sounds. But this time around there are no female candidates involved in the conversation. So what are the critical issues for women in this year’s presidential race? Dana Brown, Executive Director of the PA Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University talks about some of those issues and the candidates that are speaking to women’s interests.

Pennsylvania Ranks 28 for Equal Pay

Posted in In the News, Women in PA on April 17th, 2012 by admin – 3 Comments

by Mark Nootbaar & Tim Camerato – 90.5 Essential Public Radio

With Equal Pay Day upon us, a new study finds not much has changed since the inception of the event in 1996. On average, women in Pennsylvania make 77.4 cents for every dollar men are paid according to the National Partnership for Women and Families. The number was at 73.8 cents in 1996.

“At that rate we are estimating that the pay gap would not close until over 40 years from now,” said the partnership’s Director of Workplace Fairness Sarah Crawford.

The gap grows for women of color. The study finds African American women are paid 70 cents for every dollar men make, “and that amounts to a loss of over $14,000 per year. And Latino women in the state fare even worse… with pay being 57 cents on the dollar,” said Crawford. That, she said, amounts to $20,000 a year.

Equal Pay Day is held around this time in an effort to show how long into the new year women must work to catch up with what men made in the previous year. The study tries to put a different yardstick to the gap. It estimates that if women made as much as men they would be able to purchase an additional 2,690 gallons of gas or pay mortgage and utilities for an additional eight months.

The Gap Grows for Mothers

The study from the National Partnership for Women and Families reports a “motherhood bias” that goes beyond dropping pay for mothers. “Where women with children are generally paid less than women without children, what we see with men is quite the opposite,” said Crawford. “Men with children actually on average are paid a bit more than their counterparts without children.”

The partnership is pushing for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which the group says would close important loopholes in the nearly half century old Equal Pay Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act was passed in the the U.S. House in each of the last two sessions but fell two votes short in the Senate in 2010. The measure has not come up for a vote this year.