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Civic & Political Engagement

About Civic & Political Engagement

On an ongoing basis, IWPR continues to identify successful strategies to encourage women’s participation in civic and political life. From 2003-2008, IWPR conducted research with female activists working in a range of contexts—including interfaith organizations, unions, and secular social justice movements—about their experiences in taking on public leadership roles and the sources of motivation that inspired their involvement in this work.

More recently, a report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, and the Urban Institute reported encouraging findings on women’s civic and political participation in the Washington region, showing that as of 2008 women in this area were registered to vote at higher rates than both women and men nationwide.  Women in the Washington metropolitan area also continue to give back to their communities by volunteering with local organizations; in the District of Columbia, 35 percent of women volunteer. In addition to their contributions through voting and volunteering, women from diverse backgrounds in the Washington area are generous in giving to non-profit organizations. Several of the leading foundations in this region are led by women.

Still, much more can be done to encourage women to take on public leadership roles and to support them in this work. Through its research, publications, and outreach, IWPR will continue to promote a vision for U.S. policymaking that takes seriously the contributions of female leaders and activists, addresses the obstacles that hinder women’s civic and political participation, and explores strategies for increasing women’s involvement in public life and representation at all levels of government.

Resources

Politics, Religion, and Women's Public Vision

Status of Women in the Middle East and North Africa

Visit our additional resources page for links to more information on this topic.

Latest Reports from IWPR

Appendix E, Building Women’s Political Careers: Strengthening the Pipeline to Higher Office
by Denise L. Baer (May 2014)

These protocols were used in a project conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research for the Hunt Alternatives Fund, for which Denise Baer served as consulting project director. This appendix represents pages E1-32 of the final report of study results: Building Women’s Political Careers: Strengthening the Pipeline to Higher Office, written by Denise L. Baer and Heidi I. Hartmann.

 

Building Women’s Political Careers: Strengthening the Pipeline to Higher Office
by Denise L. Baer, Heidi I. Hartmann (May 2014)

This report was prepared by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) for Political Parity, a program of the Hunt Alternatives Fund. The report analyzes results from interviews with experienced candidates and officeholders and several focus groups with elected state legislators, young elected officials, and congressional staff members to investigate how women make the decision to run and how they develop their political careers, with a focus on seeking or achieving higher office. The report is a part of IWPR's larger body of work on examining women’s roles in civic and political leadership.Political Parity, a nonpartisan program of Hunt Alternatives Fund, supports research that tests innovative ideas and defines effective strategies to elect more women in these roles. Political Parity published a separate report and executive summary combining results from this qualitative study, the Achieving Parity Study (APS), and an original quantitative survey of state legislators, The Female State Legislators Survey (FSLS), conducted by Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting. Both studies examine the motivators and obstacles female candidates and elected officials consider when deciding whether or not to run for higher office. All Political Parity publications are available at www.politicalparity.org.

 

Focus on Morocco Topic Brief: Project Overview and Respondent Demographics
by International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2010)

 

Focus on Morocco Topic Brief: Civic and Political Participation
by International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2010)

 

Focus on Morocco Topic Brief: Freedom of Movement, Freedom from Harassment & Violence
by International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2010)

 

Focus on Morocco Topic Brief: Health Care Access
by International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2010)

 

Focus on Morocco Topic Brief: Opinions on the Family Law and Gender Quotas
by International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2010)

 

Focus on Morocco Topic Brief: Social Attitudes toward Women
by International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2010)

 

Focus on Lebanon Topic Brief: Social Attitudes Toward Women
by International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Institute for Women's Policy Research (February 2010)

 

Focus on Lebanon Topic Brief: Women’s Freedom of Movement & Freedom from Harassment & Violence
by International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Institute for Women's Policy Research (February 2010)

 

Focus on Lebanon Topic Brief: Economic & Educational Status
by International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Institute for Women's Policy Research (February 2010)

 

Focus on Lebanon Topic Brief: Civic & Political Participation
by International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Institute for Women's Policy Research (February 2010)

 

Focus on Lebanon Topic Brief: Attitudes Towards Policy Change
by International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Institute for Women's Policy Research (February 2010)

 

Focus on Lebanon Topic Brief: Control of Financial Assets
by International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Institute for Women's Policy Research (February 2010)

 

Healers of Our Time: Women, Faith, and Justice, Mapping Report (Executive Summary)
by (September 2008)

 

Healers of Our Time: Women, Faith, and Justice, Mapping Report
by (September 2008)

As the twenty-first century unfolds, women of diverse faiths claim authority as healing agents of change in a world that aches for justice and peace. Though much of their work is done in religious institutions, it rings with a radical authority that many secular feminists would celebrate. The progressive funding movement already knows something about secular feminist activists. Now, this study seeks to illuminate the exciting and multifaceted work of faithbased women activists.

 

The Challenge to Act: How Progressive Women Activists Reframe American Democracy
by Amy Caiazza, Ph.D., Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., Casey Clevenger, and Angela Carlberg (September 2008)

The Challenge to Act describes the values-based public visions of women activists involved in progressive movements for change. Based on over 120 in-depth interviews with women from diverse backgrounds, it outlines seven values that motivate and inspire them to do their work. The report includes specific recommendations for policy and practice that consider how the values-based visions articulated by progressive women might reshape both politics and organizing at the national and local levels.

#I920, Report, 64 pages
$10.00
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Building Alliances of Women: A Manual for Holding Workshops on Women’s Values
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (March 2008)

This manual provides an overview of how to hold workshops on women’s values in your community. The goals of this work are 1) to build new and supportive relationships among women from different backgrounds and organizations in a community, 2) to root agendas for change in policy and practice in the values women bring to public life, and 3) through both, to promote women’s perspectives in all kinds of organizing and political decision making.

#I921, Manual, 24 pages
$5.00
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Seven Strategies That Promote Women’s Activism and Leadership in Unions
by Amy Caiazza, Ph.D., and Casey Clevenger (December 2007)

This Research-in-Brief summarizes the findings of a larger report, I Knew I Could Do This Work: Seven Strategies That Promote Women’s Activism and Leadership in Unions.

I918, Research-In-Brief, 4 pages
$5.00
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I Knew I Could Do This Work: Seven Strategies That Promote Women’s Activism and Leadership in Unions
by Amy Caiazza, Ph.D. (December 2007)

Women are an increasing proportion of union membership, thanks to their higher labor force participation and growing unionization in the jobs they dominate, such as nursing, teaching, and clerical jobs. As of 2004, 11 percent of female and 14 percent of male workers were unionized (Milkman 2007); in all, 44 percent of union members are women (AFL-CIO 2007a). Although women are still a minority of the unionized workforce, the majority of new workers organized over the past two decades has been women, and soon women will be the majority of union members (Bronfenbrenner 2005b, 52-53). In some unions, women already are the majority. For example, as of 2000, women are 60 percent of the American Federation of Teachers. They are 52 percent of members of the America Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), 50 percent of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and 51 percent of Communications Workers of America (CWA; Milkman 2007).

I917, 56 pages
$10.00
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