The United States has fallen behind most established democracies in women’s representation in politics. Women remain underrepresented at the federal, state, and local levels, and the current uptick in women running for office is unlikely to close this gender gap.

Saskia Brechenmacher discussed key findings from her new paper, “Tackling Women’s Underpresentation in U.S. Politics: Comparative Perspectives from Europe,” with Cynthia Terrell and Michelle Whittaker, experienced political organizers and gender equality advocates. Gwen K. Young moderated the discussion.

Saskia Brechenmacher

Saskia Brechenmacher is an associate fellow in Carnegie’s Democracy and Rule of Law Program, where her research focuses on gender, democracy, and governance, as well as trends in civic activism and civil society repression.

Cynthia Terrell

Cynthia Terrell is the director of RepresentWomen and a founder of FairVote, a nonpartisan electoral reform organization.

Michelle Whittaker

Michelle Whittaker is the communications and digital media director at the Democracy Initiative, a coalition of economic, civil rights, and environmental justice-focused groups mobilizing for democratic reform.

Gwen K. Young

Gwen K. Young is the director of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative and the Women in Public Service Project at the Wilson Center.