women and political leadership

Talking about . . . women and political leadership

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As of 2016, women comprise just 19 percent of the US Congress and hold only five governorships. Why do we have so few women in political office and do we care? Some individuals and organizations believe that having women’s voices in the mix is crucial to represent the needs of women and families. Some of these organizations seek out and encourage women to run for office, others want parity to happen naturally or raise cautions about erasing any gender distinctions in an attempt to "make everything the same." 

Are there ways that bi-partisan expansion of women in political leadership might complement traditional structures in society? Are women or men more productive and more likely to work collaboratively?

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Check out this from Pew Research Center or Ignite about women in politics.

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Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

Check out other topics on LRC Radio

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Now that you are all together, here we go!

This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before you begin your conversation, please go over the Conversation Ground Rules with your participants.

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One. Why are we here?

What interested you or drew you to this topic?

Two. Your core values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • what sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
  • what would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
  • what are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?

Three. What are your biggest concerns about politics?

Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions and goals. 

Answer one or more of the following questions:
  • do you believe that having women in political leadership provides a different kind of voice?  Why or why not?
  • describe a powerful woman politician's leadership moment you’ve experienced.
  • are there issues around women’s political leadership that concern you?
  • what is your hope or aspiration for women in politics?
Four. Reflection
Answer one or more of the following questions:
  • in one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation;
  • what new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?

Five. Accomplishment and moving forward

Answer both of the following questions:
  • name one important thing that was accomplished here;
  • is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Closing

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