Jun 12, 2017

Women are as likely to win elections as men — but fewer want to run

Patrick Semansky, Steven Senne, J. Scott Applewhite, Kiichiro Sato / AP

In the U.S., women hold less than a quarter of elected positions, making it the 101st country in the world for governmental gender equality, according to Politico. Women are actually just as likely to win an election as men, but are far less likely to run.

What doesn't matter: Studies have shown fundraising inequality, sexism in the media and among voters, and unyielding party bureaucracies do not contribute to the lack of women in office, Politico reports.

What does matter: Women aren't as interested in pursuing a political career. There are almost twice as many men who consider running for office than women — 20% of GOP women to 41% GOP men, and 24% Democrat women to 35% Democrat men.

Good news: After the election, there was a 75% increase in women filing to run for the Virginia Legislature and a 25% increase in New Jersey. Organizations that help promote women running for office have reported impressive increases as well. But... in a Politico poll after the election, women were still 15% less likely to say they would run for office than men.

Suggested solutions:

  1. A survey by the Women and Politics Institute at American University found that women were less likely to receive encouragement to pursue politics from teachers, parents, friends, spouses, etc. than men. That should change.
  2. School boards are the most likely place for women to be running for and working in elected positions. Recruiters should search there.
  3. Women tend to pursue office for different reasons than men. Political party recruiters should therefore change their pitches to women reflect how politics can be used to solve problems.

Go deeper: For more on how women view politics differently than men, and ways to fix the gender gap, read Politico's piece, here.

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Japan to close schools through late March to control coronavirus outbreak

A couple takes photos in front of the Olympic rings in Tokyo. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday that the government will ask elementary, middle and high schools around the country to close until late March as an attempt to contain its novel coronavirus outbreak, AP reports.

Why it matters: The government's decision — impacting 12.8 million students across 34,847 schools — comes as concerns mount about the spread of the virus in Japan, which has 189 confirmed cases and hundreds more abroad the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Go deeper: The latest coronavirus updates

What the coronavirus means for Trump's presidency

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A poor response to the coronavirus could be politically devastating for President Trump, and so far his administration has given the strong impression that it’s still scrambling as the risk of a pandemic mounts.

Why it matters: There’s only so much any president can do to stop a virus from spreading, and for now the coronavirus is still very much under control within the U.S. But if the disease get worse in the months ahead, and if the administration seems to be caught off guard, that spells trouble for public confidence in Trump.

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Coronavirus updates: New global case numbers surpass China's

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."

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