Women candidates and their campaigns: the latest info, trends and historical context.
(2009, 28 pages)
This report provides an unprecedented look at how women reach the legislatures and how women’s election to office has changed over time. Using data from the most comprehensive nationwide survey of legislators ever conducted, the 2008 CAWP Recruitment Study, it compares women with their male colleagues in their decisions to seek office, previous political experience, and personal background. More women serve in state legislatures today than ever before. Yet women continue to be dramatically underrepresented compared to their presence in the population. Moreover, after almost thirty years of small but steady increases, the number of women state legislators has leveled off in the past decade. Why have the numbers plateaued long before women achieved parity with men among legislators? How can more women be elected to office? This report answers these pressing questions with the 2008 CAWP Recruitment Study, comparing the responses of today’s legislators with those who served in 1981.
Women in State Government: Historical Overview and Current Trends (2004, 11 pages)
This study by CAWP senior scholar Susan J. Carroll raises issues concerning the continued growth of women's participation in state government. As the study states, "[w]omen have significantly increased their numbers among state government officials over the past several decades. However, despite a recent increase in the number of women governors, women’s progress, especially at the statewide elective and state legislative levels, has slowed....Findings such as these suggest that the future for women in state government will depend, at least in part, upon the strength of efforts to actively recruit women for both elected and appointed positions." This article is reprinted with permission from The Book of the States, 2004, published by The Council of State Governments, Lexington, KY 2004.
"Have Women State Legislators In the United States Become More Conservative?: A Comparison of State Legislators in 2001 and 1988" (2003, 23 pages)
Susan J. Carroll, Professor of Political Science and CAWP senior scholar, wrote this article published in Atlantis 27:2(2003): 128-139. Findings in this article include: Women state legislators in the United States in 2001 are more liberal in their political ideology and policy attitudes than their male colleagues, just as they were in 1988. Nevertheless, a notable change is evident in the ideological predispositions of Republican Party women, especially in the lower houses of the legislatures. Republican women representatives in 2001 are more conservative and more like their male counterparts than they were in the late 1980s.
Are U.S. Women State Legislators Accountable to Women?
The Complimentary Roles of Feminist Identity and Women's Organizations (2003, 14 pages)
This report was prepared by Susan J. Carroll, senior CAWP scholar, for a conference held at St. John's College, University of Manitoba, in May, 2003. An introductory paragraph briefly describes the report's contents. "While we have considerable evidence that women legislators give greater priority to women’s issues than their male colleagues, we know less about why they do so. What is the process underlying the substantive representation of women by women legislators? Why does the representation of women by women legislators happen? This paper examines these questions with particular attention to the role of women’s organizations and networks."
Women State Legislators: Past, Present and Future (2001, 14 pages)
In 2001, with funding from the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, CAWP surveyed female and male state legislators and compared the new data with prior CAWP research findings. The initial brief research reports include descriptions of women legislators today and comparisons with their male colleagues as well as with their 1988 counterparts.
Findings at a Glance: Summary Report on CAWP's Study of Women State Legislators (1991, 8 pages)
This report is a brief summary of selected findings from CAWP's study of women state legislators, Reshaping the Agenda: Women in State Legislatures. (1988)
Equality Deferred: Women Candidates for the New Jersey Assembly 1920-1993 (1994, 49 pages)
This report by Richard P. and Katheryne McCormick explores the history of women's candidacies for the New Jersey Assembly and analyzes some of the reasons for the past and current status of women as office-seekers in the state. The monograph provides a thorough record and a valuable appraisal; it identifies signs of hope for the future as well as areas ripe for change. While highly specific to New Jersey, the report points the way for studies which could be conducted elsewhere. It provides a model which should inspire researchers elsewhere to undertake similar efforts to understand their own states and make recommendations for progressive change.
Gender and Policymaking: Studies of Women in Office (1991, 133 pages)
This report is a collection of eleven essays written by scholars who received grants from CAWP to investigate the impact of elected and appointed women officeholders at the local, state, and national levels. It includes three essays focusing specifically on state legislatures.
Women in Legislative Leadership: Report from a Conference (1986, 73 pages)
A report from CAWP's first conference for women holding legislative leadership positions, including committee chairs, held in November of 1985 in New Jersey. (73 pages)
Women's Routes to Elective Office: A Comparison with Men's (1983, 225 pages)
Based on data collected through surveys of women and men elected to state legislatures, county governing boards, and municipal offices, this report examines the factors which influence women's entry into elective offices. A major section focuses on black women's routes to elective office.
Women State Legislators: Report from a Conference (1982, 102 pages)
A report from CAWP's second conference for women state legislators, held in June 1982 on Cape Cod under a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. A central focus of the conference was women's legislative caucuses and other ways for women to work together.
Women in Public Office, First and Second Editions, and Profile of Women Holding Office I and Profile of Women Holding Office II (1976, 37 pages; 1978, 71 pages)
CAWP produced the first-ever directories of U.S. elected women, who were surveyed in 1975 and 1977. The directories included names, addresses and background data. Each directory included a statistical essay, also published as stand-alone documents, examining the numbers, personal characteristics, political backgrounds, issue orientations, and ambitions of women in federal, state, county, and local government as reported in the surveys. Inclusion of a comparative sample of male officials and of women former office-holders highlight the 1978 report. The directories are not reproduced here, but reference copies are available at CAWP.
Fact sheets about women elected to state legislature available here.