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Since 2013, Women for Tennessee’s Future (WTF) has endorsed over 80 progressive women running for office across the state of Tennessee and invested nearly $150,000 in their campaigns for local and state offices… but progress has been slow. Consider these statistics:
- Women’s representation in the TN State Legislature is stagnant, making up only 15.2% of the Legislature. The national average of all women serving in State Legislatures is 29%.
- Knoxville Mayor and WTF-elected official Indya Kincannon is the only woman who serves as Mayor of one of Tennessee’s five largest cities. Chattanooga and Memphis have never elected a female Mayor.
- In Chattanooga and Memphis, women make up just 22% and 23% of the City Councils, respectively.
- And not surprisingly, a woman has never been elected Governor.
The Center for American Women and Politics, a nonpartisan institute that provides research and data about American women’s political participation, ranks Tennessee 49 out of 50 states for women’s representation in Tennessee’s State Legislature.
So, why are there so few women serving in public office?
Study after study shows the same results: women face many barriers to becoming candidates for public office. Consider:
- Women are less likely to see themselves as qualified to run for office
- Women are less likely to be recruited or groomed to run for office
- Oftentimes women have less access to big donors and traditional powerbrokers
- Women are still responsible for the majority of household and child care tasks that make running for office more challenging
- Women are more likely to be turned off by the negative nature of modern campaigns
In 2022, women are overcoming these barriers and running for office in record numbers. WTF is committed to advancing and funding the next generation of female elected leaders so that we increase women’s political power and change the statistics.
HERE’S WHERE YOU COME IN:
Run For Office. Take the first step.
Help a Woman Run. Join our grassroots volunteer team.
Contribute to WTF. Become a WTF member today.
And don’t forget to follow us on and and attend our events.
Together, we can and we will change the face of power in Tennessee and ensure our elected leaders reflect the diversity of our communities.