According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), we'll have to wait another 100 years to see gender parity in Congress -- unless something changes, and fast.
Women currently make up 20 percent of U.S. Congress, and the IWPR projects that, at the current rate that female candidates are being elected to the House and Senate, we won't achieve equal numbers of men and women until 2121. The big question: how can we speed things up?
There are a variety of obstacles that make it more difficult for women to reach elective office. Some reports suggest a gender ambition gap is to blame, while others claim that female candidates are equally ambitious but don't have access to the same donor networks and mentoring opportunities as their male counterparts. Women also face sexist garbage on the campaign trail from opponents, and sometimes their competence is even questioned by virtue of their gender.
In a follow-up to the report on Congressional gender parity, the IWPR spoke with elected officials and experienced political candidates about how to strengthen women's "pipeline to higher office." They found that female candidates need advice and mentoring from more experienced office-holders, as well as support from women's organizations and political parties.
We're solidly behind more women choosing to run for office -- here's to getting more of them elected.