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Our column dives into the challenges women face when running for office and the groundbreaking solutions that The Ascend Fund and our partners are pioneering through innovation and collaboration.


August 22, 2023

Progress towards Gender Parity on Pause in Mississippi

An analysis of the 2023 Mississippi primary election


June 28, 2023

LGBTQ+ Legislators Leading the Fight for the Rights of Trans Americans

While Republican legislators wage a war on transgender and LGBTQ+ Americans, trans and LGBTQ+ state legislators nationwide are leading the fight against dangerous bills and passing legislation to protect the safety of trans people across the country.


May 19, 2023

Moms Leading the Way

This Mother’s Day, we’re wishing for gender parity, not just flowers. When elected, women in general, and specifically moms, leverage their personal experience to pass legislation to improve the lives of women, children, and families.


April 25, 2023

Women Legislators Lead on Pay Equity

More women in office will help close the gender and racial pay gap.


March 30, 2023

Women’s History Month: Celebrating Women Who Lift as They Climb

Every month is Women’s History Month at The Ascend Fund, but March provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made and to celebrate the women who are leading the way and lifting as they climb.


February 28, 2023

An Off-Year for the Election of Women to Mississippi Legislature

In the state currently ranked 48th in the nation for women’s representation, fewer women are running for the Mississippi Legislature this year, making it unlikely that the number of women in elected office will increase substantially.


January 26, 2022

Resolutions on Representation: Lessons learned from 2022 that we can carry forward in 2023

The 2022 midterm election was a staunch reminder that progress towards gender parity in politics is neither linear nor guaranteed, and that we need to keep working to remove systemic barriers so women can achieve 50% representation, in all 50 states, by 2050.


October 12, 2022

Systemic Challenges May Hinder Women’s Political Gains

Number of women running for the state legislature in Michigan and Washington increases, but gender parity likely to remain elusive.


August 25, 2022

From military service to public service: increasing the number of women veterans in elected office

It’s been almost 75 years since women were recognized as permanent members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Despite being the fastest growing demographic of the veteran population, the challenges women service members, women veterans, and their families face are often pushed to the side.


April 27, 2022

Want to close the gender wage gap? Elect more women to state legislatures.

Women have been fighting for equal pay since entering the workforce en masse during WWII. One of the most notable pieces of legislation passed on the issue of equal pay was the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibited wage discrimination on account of sex.


February 22, 2022

It’s Past Time to Elect Black Women to Governor Offices

This year poses a unique opportunity to achieve a long-overdue first, electing the first Black woman governor in the United States. In November there will be 36 governorships on the ballot, including all of the nine offices currently held by women.


January 18, 2022

Why You (Yes, You!) Should Run For Office in 2022

As the calendar rolls over, many people set New Year’s resolutions. But rather than resolving to exercise more, read more books, or watch less TV, what if you resolved to run for office?


January 5, 2022

Twelve Organizations Working to Make 2022 the Best Year Yet for Women’s Representation

At The Ascend Fund, we believe that parity is possible in our lifetime because transformational organizations are building a pathway to public office for women.


November 5, 2021

2021 Election Analysis: Nominal Progress for Women

In 2020, all eyes were on the White House and Kamala Harris’ historic election as the first woman and woman of color to serve as vice president. In contrast, 2021 was an “off-year,” meaning there were only a few federal or state races which, typically take place in even numbered years.


October 19, 2021

Partners in Parity: How 13 Organizations in Michigan, Mississippi & Washington are Paving the Way

To rapidly accelerate the pace of change toward gender parity in state legislatures, pivotal policymaking bodies, The Ascend Fund is making targeted, transformational investments in 13 state and local organizations in Michigan, Mississippi, and Washington.


September 21, 2021

Elevating Latina Leadership this Hispanic Heritage Month

Latinas are deeply underrepresented at every level of elected office. Latina leadership, however, is transformational, when elected, Latinas are powerful changemakers, fighting for their communities.


August 17, 2021

Ten Podcasts That Elevate Women's Voices in Politics

Women in politics are making history across the country as they continue to break down barriers and increase representation in government. While there are now more women serving in office than ever before, we’re still far from true gender parity.


August 10, 2021

244 Years Later, Kathy Hochul to Become New York’s First Woman Governor

After two and a half centuries of men governors, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will become New York’s first woman governor when she is sworn in on August 24th, 2021.


July 7, 2021

Always the Lieutenant, Never the Governor

The representation of women in lieutenant governors offices and lack of women governors begs the question, why are we as a nation comfortable with women in second place, but not in command?


June 15, 2021

Path to Parity: Why We're Starting with the States

The Ascend Fund has a plan to close to the gender gap in state legislatures by 2050, not merely because it’s fair, but because it’s what’s smart.


June 15, 2021

Michigan - Parity Has Progressed

Propelled by the largest voter turnout in 50 years, women’s representation in the Michigan State Legislature skyrocketed from 25% to almost 36%, as a result of the 2018 election.


June 15, 2021

Mississippi - Parity Takes Persistence

Achieving gender parity in politics will take persistence in states like Mississippi. Mississippi consistently ranks in the bottom 10 states nationwide for women’s representation and women have never held more than 20% of the state legislative seats.


June 15, 2021

Washington - Parity Is Possible

For more than a decade, from 1993 to 2004, Washington ranked 1st in the nation for women’s representation in the state legislature. But progress faltered from a high of more than 40% in 2000 to just 32% in 2011.


June 9, 2021

Pride in Politics: Opportunities for Growing LGBTQ Representation During Pride and Beyond

This Pride Month, we’re celebrating progress made to date in addressing the underrepresentation of LGBTQ elected officials, while continuing to identify barriers to future growth.


May 18, 2021

For the Love of Democracy, Pay Attention to Women of Color

Women make up more than half of the population in the U.S., yet account for only about a quarter of Congress and just 31% of state legislators. To put it into perspective, if women were to be represented equitably, they would make up half of Congress and all state legislatures.


May 4, 2021

Vote for Mom

Moms are essential. As the pandemic ravaged the nation, mothers were forced out of the workforce as school transitioned online and childcare disappeared.


April 13, 2021

Cost of Success

Women candidates running for office in recent years have made headlines for outraising men. In 2018, women running for Congress raised an average of $1,675,000 while men raised $1,537,000.


March 23,2021

The Challenge for Challengers

Winning a contested election is never easy for women, but it is especially difficult when a woman is running as a challenger against an incumbent.


February 10, 2021

Full Time Job, Part Time Salary

How Legislative Pay Limits Who Can Serve in Office and Inhibits Reflective Democracy


January 25th, 2021

2020 Election Report – State Legislatures

In 2021, a historic 143 women will serve in Congress. Billions of dollars are spent each cycle to elect the 535 members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House, federal elected officials receive a disproportionate amount of attention from voters and the media alike. However, there are far more state legislators – 7,383 – than members of Congress, and as Congress becomes more polarized and thus less productive, the role and influence of state legislatures is growing.


November 13, 2020

2020 Election Report – U.S. Congress

A record number 140 women will serve in the 117th Congress, breaking the record of 127 women set in 2019. This record brings us closer to gender parity,


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