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Women & Politics Institute

The Women & Politics Institute provides practical and academic training to women that encourages them to become involved in the political process and facilitates research by faculty and students that enhances our understanding of the challenges and opportunities women face in the political arena.


Due to Coronavirus health concerns, all university-sponsored events are suspended through May 5th. We will be working to reschedule both the March 23rd Suffrage Centennial Book Talk with Dr. Johanna Neuman and the April 9th Women in Congress Book Talk with author Jennifer Steinhauer at a later date.

New Research

2020.1.22 New Research

Women of all ages and political affiliations — particularly millennials and women of color—have become more politically engaged since 2016, a trend that is likely to continue in the 2020 cycle.

Our Gender on the Ballot research gives further insights into what motivates women and how they plan to participate this year. In case you missed it, you can watch the full panel here. Click to read the memo, the blog post, Axios coverage, and the press release.  

Event Recaps

The ambassadors and Betsy

MAR 4: WPI hosted four female ambassadors to the U.S., H.E. Hunaina Sultan Al Mughairy of Oman, H.E. Mathilde Mukantabana of Rwanda, H.E. Roya Rahmani of Afghanistan, and H.E. Bergdís Ellertsdóttir of Iceland, to discuss women's political participation around the world. Read more

Congresswoman Sharice Davids

MAR 4: To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, WPI partnered with APCO Worldwide and the Close Up Foundation to convene a group of young leaders and congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. Read more

Stepping Up and Standing Out Panelists

JAN 22: Experts gathered for a panel discussion about Gender on the Ballot’s latest research: Stepping Up and Standing Out: Women's Political Participation in 2020. Read more

Watch the full panel here  

Panelists She Leads

JAN 21: The Women & Politics Institute hosted three dynamic female mayors from across the U.S. to discuss women's political leadership at the executive level. Read more

Watch the full panel here

WeLead Training Recaps

Lisa Montenegro in front of a projection screen

MAR 7:  This session featured coach Lisa Montenegro explaining how the inner game shapes your outer game. Next, campaign experts Molly Murphy, Kim Alfano, Julie Greene Collier, and Brin Frazier, shared best practices in polling, advertising, direct mail and speechwriting. Read more

Kristin, Allison, Niccara, and Aly seated on the panel

JAN 25: The WeLead training session focused on the skills, talents and tips for running a successful campaign. Speakers included Kristin Davison, Allison Teixeira Sulier, Niccara Campbell, Aly Higgins Wheeler, and Rep. Barbara Comstock. Read more

News Stories

Rep. Lauren Underwood at WeLead Graduation Ceremony

Achievements ·

Rep. Underwood Addresses Graduating Women of WeLead Program

This week, American University School of Public Affairs' Women & Politics Institute held its annual WeLead program graduation at the D.C. Office of  MacAndrews & Forbes.
Full Story

Female ambassadors at International Women's Day event

On Campus ·

Female Ambassadors Share Stories on International Women’s Day

Female ambassadors to the U.S. from Afghanistan, Iceland, Oman and Rwanda spoke on campus at a panel moderated by Betsy Fischer Martin, executive director of the American University School of Public Affairs’ Women and Politics March 4.
Full Story

New Research: Stepping Up and Standing Out: Women's Political Participation in 2020

Announcement ·

Stepping Up and Standing Out

A new online nationwide survey reveals that women of all ages and political affiliations — particularly millennials and women of color—have become more politically engaged since 2016.
Full Story

Woman engaged and talking at event.

On Campus ·

Daring to Make a Difference: Strategists Talk Women in Politics

Donna Brazile, Minyon Moore, and Yolanda Caraway discuss their book at WPI event.
Full Story

March 17 primaries

Gender at the Presidential Primaries

Betsy Fischer Martin analyzes the March 17th presidential primaries in Florida, Arizona, and Illinois.

After each presidential primary or caucus, check back here for our latest gender analysis.

Presidential Primary Tracker


Gender on the Debate Stage

Betsy Fischer Martin crunches the numbers on gender issues in the latest Democratic debate in Washington, DC.

Check out previous debate blogs from the New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina Democratic debates.

MAR 15 DC Debate

Super Tuesday 2 Map

Gender at the Super Tuesday II Primaries

Betsy Fischer Martin examines the gender dynamics in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and Washington.

Presidential Primary Tracker

WeLead Reader

A curated newsletter, delivered to inboxes on Saturday mornings, readers can catch up on a week’s worth of important new developments about women running for office, serving as leaders and engaging in the political arena.

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Gender on the Ballot Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on all the latest news + gender analysis in election 2020.

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WPI Newsletter

Sign up for the WPI Newsletter to view recent highlights and learn about upcoming opportunities and events.

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