Political Participation Among Politically Active Women Post-2016

November 2020

Little research has looked into politically active women post the 2016 Presidential Election. Women are mobilizing at high rates and as we saw in 2018, they are running and winning offices across the Nation. Women hold strong political power and have been a key part of many political and social movements even before they got the right to vote. In the post-2016 era, many things we thought we knew before about political participation have changed, but some themes still ring true today. I created a survey of 25 questions to uncover the attitudes and motivations of politically active self-identified women, as well as what messages work to motivate them. With the help of the Virginia League of Women Voters and American University’s Women and Politics Institute, I distributed my survey and received over 600 responses. Looking into this niche group, I uncovered that politically active women are highly involved, and the ones that are not, family responsibilities and time come in the way of political activities. Additionally, reproductive rights, health, and justice is the key issue motivating women to get politically active today. When it comes to increasing their political activity, many women noted needed more tangible tasks from organizations and campaigns, even some at the local level. The themes and findings through this research are critically important as we head into the 2020 election cycle because women will be a force on the ground, at the ballot box, and getting elected into office. We need to learn from 2016 and politically active women in order to keep this momentum going.