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Women & Politics Institute

The Women & Politics Institute provides practical and academic training that encourages women 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.

WeLead Campaign Training Program

The WeLead2023 Application is open now thru July 1. Do you want to run for office? Or run a political campaign? Or do you know a woman who wants to run for office or run a campaign? Or do you want to see more women in office? Please apply now and/or spread the word to help us recruit the next class of future leaders who want to make a difference and close the gender gap in political leadership. The WeLead Campaign Training Program is offered at no cost to admitted applicants.



The following courses will be offered in Fall 2022 for the Women, Policy and Political Leadership (WPPL) Undergraduate and Graduate Certificate Programs. Use the navigation menu at the left for details on course values, schedules and instructors.

GOVT 482/682.001 Women & Politics
GOVT 485/685.001 Women, Citizenship, and the ERA
GOVT 485/685.002 Women and Policy
GOVT 485/685.003 Women and the 2022 Elections
GOVT 486/686.001 Feminist Political Theory

WPI "Women on Wednesdays"

Women on Wednesdays ICYMI

The Women & Politics Institute’s "Women on Wednesdays" brings our WPI community together with dynamic and thought-provoking women leaders, authors, scholars, journalists, and activists.

We hope you'll join us online this summer as we continue to discuss timely topics about empowering women in the political arena. Stay tuned for upcoming events, and in the meantime, check out full replays of previous events here.


Gender on the Ballot The New Normal: Women, the Workplace, and Pandemic Politics

GOTB Research (Twitter Post)-1-min-1

After almost two years of contending with Covid-19, women across the country increasingly believe that the pandemic is creating a new normal, according to an online survey released by Gender on the Ballot, a partnership between the Women & Politics Institute at American University’s School of Public Affairs and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation.

The survey reveals that women are economically stressed, struggling with mental health, and concerned about the state of the country, yet they are also galvanized in support of improving healthcare systems, electing women to public office, and seeing the first Black woman Supreme Court justice. Benenson Strategy Group conducted this survey on the opinions and sentiments of women voters, which dovetails with Gender on the Ballot’s polling on similar topics one year ago.

To learn more about this new research, check out our Gender on the Ballot website where you will find key takeaways, memo, and our press release.


Recent Blog Posts

Dewolf GOTB June

Justice Alito’s Leaked Draft Decision and Women’s Rights as Citizens Dr. Rebecca DeWolf discusses the recent leaked Supreme Court draft that is set to overturn Roe v Wade., exploring why Justice Samuel Alito "ardently disagrees" with the belief that abortion access is promised by the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause.


What Candidates Need to Know About Women 50+ As we gear up for the 2022 elections, Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond of AARP, discusses the vital importance of elected leaders and political candidates understanding how women over 50 “view the world around them, their place in it, and what they need to thrive.”

WPI "Women on Wednesdays" Recaps

Check out all event recaps here, or visit our Crowdcast channel here to watch full replays of previous events.

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April 27: Valerie Biden Owens, discussed her book Growing Up Biden: A Memoir, a compelling account of “breaking through gender barriers, the elusive nature of confidence, and navigating professional responsibilities while raising children.” Watch the full replay here

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April 13: Liuba Grechen Shirley discussed Vote Mama's mission to “break the structural barriers moms face running for office, normalize moms of young children running, and leverage a network of moms in office to advance women-centered, family-friendly legislation.” Watch the full replay here

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March 16: Amanda Hunter and Lindsay Vermeyen presented the findings from our new Gender on the Ballot poll, conducted by Benenson Strategy Group, that explored the issues shaping women voters and their political opinions two years after the start of the pandemic, with WPI Executive Director Betsy Fischer Martin. Watch the full replay here

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February 16: Former prosecutor and human rights lawyer Maggy Krell discussed her debut book, Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker, a “gripping story of tragedy, overcoming adversity, and the pursuit of justice that gives insight into the fight against sex trafficking in the digital age.” Watch the full replay here

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February 2: Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky discussed the non-profit they co-founded, “Lift Our Voices,” an organization that aims to transform the American workplace and end the silencing of harassment victims through forced arbitration and non-disclosure agreements. Watch the full replay here

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January 19: Former NPR and ABC News correspondent Kati Marton discussed her book, The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel, which details the "remarkable rise and political brilliance of the most powerful—and elusive—woman in the world.” Watch the full replay here

The WeLead Reader

The WeLead Reader is a curated weekend newsletter packed with news and research about women in politics.

If you like to receive the Reader each week, please subscribe below.  Please help us spread the word and share it with interested family and friends.


Panel at virtual book talk event

Government & Politics ·

Wave of Women Elected Shatters What It Looks Like to Serve in Congress

On April 14th the SPA Women & Politics Institute sponsored a virtual book talk on women in congress.
Full Story

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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

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