Women and Political Leadership

Conversation Guide

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?

Background Information:

While you don’t need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic.

Let's Get Started!

This Living Room Conversation flows through three 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...

Please go over the Conversation Agreements with your participants.

Introductions: Getting Started/
Why Are We Here?

What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round 1: Core Values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?

Round 2:

What are your thoughts on Women and Political Leadership?

Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared 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?

Round 3: Reflection & Next Steps

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?
  • 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?

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Thank You!

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