The Power of Women's Voices in Politics
If there's anyone who is tuned in to the power of women’s voices, it’s A’shanti Gholar. As the host of The Brown Girls Guide to Politics, and President of Emerge America, A’shanti is committed to empowering and amplifying women of color throughout the political space and beyond. Her podcast is a wealth of information ranging from women of color running for elected office to how politics impacts women of color, all intimately shared with BGG’s podcast listeners. Leading up to the 2020 election, we are honored to feature A'shanti as a guest writer and share her perspective on the power of the women’s voices.
Over the past several decades, women of all backgrounds have slowly built our political might. We have played an outsized role in the development of this country and have shaped the direction of our democracy. Women now represent 53 percent of the electorate and we have been increasingly exercising our right to vote.
Earlier this year, we commemorated the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, which also happens to coincide with what is the most consequential election of our lifetimes. In what seems to be a full-circle moment, women have become the most coveted and important voting bloc this year. In fact, we will decide the outcome of this election.
According to Supermajority, an organization that mobilizes women to get involved in politics, more women than men will be eligible to vote in this year’s election and since 2016, we have been more motivated than ever to get involved. We showed up in full force across the country and poured into the streets in 2017 during the first-ever Women’s March, a signal that we were not going to back down. Since then, we have continued to show up as organizers, activists, voters and more frequently, political candidates.
During the 2018 midterm election, we showed up at the polls in record numbers and ushered in a new era of leadership in Washington when we helped elect a historic number of women to Congress. We did the same at the state level, electing a groundbreaking number of women to state legislatures nationwide.
Women of color were especially influential during this turning point in American politics and had record voter turnout that year. In Texas, 1.2 million women of color showed up at the polls, which was double the 2014 turnout, and were 17 percent of all voters in Florida. A diverse coalition of voters, including women of color in Nevada, helped deliver the first majority-woman state legislature in the history of the United States. Turnout for Black women voters in 2018 was much higher than the national average with fifty-five percent of them heading the polls.
And this year, we don’t plan on slowing down. Data from the Center for Responsive Politics showed that political donations from women have already shattered previous records. The share of women contributing to political campaigns grew to 43.5 percent, up more than 15 points since their peak in the 1990s. In key races up and down the ballot, women voters will be central to determining which political party will control state legislatures, Congress and the White House. Forty-seven percent of women also said that they planned to encourage their friends and family to get involved and vote. Earlier this month, we again marched in staggering numbers in Washington and in cities nationwide in preparation for Election Day and to get energized as we head to the polls to determine the future of our nation.
Women understand what’s at stake and we know the consequences if we sit out. We have been building this movement for years and in November, we’ll show how truly powerful we can be.