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.

Dr. Anastasia C. Curwood - “Shirley Chisholm” Wednesday, February 22 at 6pm ET

Shirley Chisholm Twitter

In celebration of Black History Month, please join American University's Women & Politics Institute for a virtual conversation with Dr. Anastasia Curwood, author of the new book, Shirley Chisholm: Champion of Black Feminist Power Politics and WPI Executive Director Betsy Fischer Martin. Details and registration here

In Shirley Chisholm, Dr. Curwood writes the “definitive biography” of the first Black major-party presidential candidate, and first Black woman elected to Congress. Tracing Chisholm’s groundbreaking rise to political power, Curwood details the path she took to develop her Black feminism, her “multicultural, multigenerational, and cross-gender coalition building,” and the lasting impact of her life on contemporary social movements. Order the book here


Academics Spring 2023 WPPL Courses

The following courses will be offered in Spring 2023 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.

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

Nancy AARP Blog Post

New AARP Poll - Women 50+ Are Energized to Vote…and Still Making Up Their Minds: Ahead of the midterms, AARP Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond discusses the new She’s the Difference poll, concluding that women 50+ are  "the biggest bloc of swing voters... but half are still making up their minds about how they’ll vote.”

Ali Vitali Event

A Conversation with Ali Vitali: BLFF Executive Director Amanda Hunter talks with NBC Capitol Hill Correspondent Ali Vitali about her new book, Electable, which explores gender dynamics in the 2020 Presidential campaign and questions why we haven’t had a woman president.

WPI "Women on Wednesdays" Recaps

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

WoW Post 2022 200x300

Nov 9: Amanda Hunter, Christine Matthews, Atima Omara, and Mabinty Quarshie broke down the 2022 midterm elections and shared their analysis on how women candidates fared up and down the ballot with Betsy Fischer Martin. Read more here and watch the full replay here

Bonnie 200x300

October 26: American University alumna Dr. Bonnie Morris, CAS/BA '83, discussed her book What's the Score?: 25 Years of Teaching Women's Sports History, which offers an “insider's look at sports education but also an engaging guide to turning points in women's sports history that everyone should know.” Read more here and watch the full replay here

Electable post 200x300

October 12: NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Ali Vitali discussed her new book Electable: Why America Hasn't Put a Woman in the White House . . . Yet, “a fearless deep dive into the 2020 election,” which investigates the “gendered double standards placed on women presidential candidates." Read more here and watch the full replay here

Formidable post 200x300

September 28: AU alumna Dr. Elisabeth Griffith, CAS/Ph.D ‘84, discussed her book, Formidable: American Women and the Fight for Equality: 1920-2020, that chronicles the fight by white and Black women to achieve equality following the "incomplete" victory of the Nineteenth Amendment’s ratification. Read more here and watch the full replay here

Lis Smith Post 200x300

September 7: Lis Smith, former senior advisor in communications to presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, discussed her new best-selling book Any Given Tuesday: A Political Love Story, “a rollicking irreverent look behind the scenes of American politics from one of the most sought-after operatives in the Democratic Party." Read more here and watch the full replay here

Biden WoW Post 200x300

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

Vote Mama Post event 200x300

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

GOTB Post 200x300

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

krell Post 200x300

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

Lift Our Voices Post 200x300

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

Marton Post 200x300

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

Women on Wednesdays

Upcoming Events

Wed, February 22 at 6pm ET
Shirley Chisholm

Dr. Anastasia Curwood

Wed, March 1 at 6pm ET
Fearless Women

Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs

Wed, March 22 at 6pm ET
Untold Power

Rebecca Boggs Roberts

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.


Upcoming Affilated Events

Check back later!

View All Events

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.

Sign Up

Gender on the Ballot Newsletter

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

Sign Up

WPI Newsletter

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

Sign Up