Women voters stepped up and are not backing down.


New research looks at women’s political participation over the last few years and ahead to 2020.

The 2016 election sparked one of the largest protests in U.S. history with millions of women worldwide taking to the streets, 2018 showcased a record number of women running for (and winning) political office… what will 2020 bring?

Our new research shows that women’s political activism has not only increased since 2016, but shows no signs of stopping in 2020. At the forefront of this effort are Democratic women, millennial women, and women of color, all of whom say they expect to be even more involved in political issues and campaigns throughout 2020.

Their political engagement is community-driven and especially focused on encouraging those around them to vote and get involved in politics. Seeing more women candidates on the ballot makes a difference not just on who they cast their vote for, but whether or not they feel inspired to support the campaign. This is especially true for Democratic women, millennial women, and women of color—among these key voting blocs, over half say they are more likely to volunteer or donate if the candidate is a woman.

But despite recent progress, serious roadblocks continue to stand in women’s way. Our research shows that women who have been less politically engaged are not held back by apathy or disinterest, but a lack of time and confidence in their own political knowledge.

  • Women of all ages and political affiliations say the top reason they have not gotten politically involved to date is because they are too busy working or taking care of their family. As campaigns and advocacy groups look to activate women this election cycle, they can’t lose sight of the significant and institutional obstacles that are preventing women from stepping into the political arena and having their voices heard.
  • Confidence in their own political knowledge is also a top barrier unique to women. Despite comparable news consumption, women are three times more likely than men to choose “I don’t know enough about political issues to get involved” as their top reason to stay on the sidelines.

Women’s increased political involvement over the past few years is real and powerful, but so are the obstacles they continue to face. No matter what, all signs point to 2020 being another big year for women’s activism—from grassroots to the ballot box.

See full findings here.

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