Dr. Jennifer Lawless, the director of the Women and Politics Institute at the American University School of Public Affairs, will give the next Amicus Curiae lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, at Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center.
Lawless will speak on the topic “Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do.”
“Study after study finds that when women run for office, they perform as well as men, both in terms of the amount of money they raise and the votes they receive,” Lawless said. “Yet women remain severely under-represented in U.S. politics. When Congress convened in January 2015, 81% of its members were be men. Men occupy the governor’s mansion in 45 of the 50 states, and they run City Hall in about 90% of the largest cities across the country. In fact, 99 nations now surpass the United States in the percentage of women serving in the national legislature.”
In this lecture, Lawless is expected to explain why, despite cultural evolution and society’s changing attitudes toward women in politics, running for public office remains a much less attractive and feasible endeavor for women than it is for men.
In addition to serving as director of the Women and Politics Institute, Lawless is professor of government and the faculty affiliate for the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at the American University School of Public Affairs. She also is the editor of Politics and Gender.
Her commentary on issues related to women in politics has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the New Yorker. She also has been cited on CNN.com.
Lawless earned her B.A. in political science from Union College and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Stanford University.