SXSW 2023

3 Reforms to Build Women's Political Power Now


For our panel, we will highlight the three research-drive Signature Solutions outlined by RepresentWomen that work to remove structural barriers that hinder women from gaining political power. Women candidates are underfunded, are systematically excluded from running for elected office, and are underrepresented in powerful appointed leadership positions. The three strategies to combat these barriers are: gender-balanced PAC boards and funding commitments so more women RUN, single and multi-winner ranked choice voting so more women WIN, and gender-balanced appointments so more women LEAD. These are key solutions because they are viable, scalable, and transformative. In other words, they are ambitious yet achievable, and our research has shown that they work.

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  1. PACs can remove barriers for women to run by being intentional in the number of women candidates they recruit, support, and fund.
  2. Ranked choice voting increases women’s representation because it eliminates the spoiler effect, promotes civil, issue-focused campaigns and costs less
  3. Codifying gender balanced appointment mandate rules, from cabinet to judicial positions, is needed to close the representation gap in our lifetimes.



Katie Usalis, Director, Programs & Partnerships, RepresentWomen

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Civic Engagement
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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