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Talking Politics With an Expert on Women in Politics [Episode 10]

Jennifer Lawless is optimistic about the wave of women thinking about running for office -- but only tepidly.

Jennifer Lawless sitting in a chair.
Jennifer Lawless, right, participating in a Bipartisan Policy Center event.
(Flickr/Bipartisan Policy)
When it comes to getting women into politics, Jennifer Lawless wrote the book on it -- literally.

She’s the director of the Women and Politics Institute at American University and the author of Running from Office: Why Young Americans are Turned Off to Politics and It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run For Office.

Since Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election in November, there's been a revived and unprecedented movement to get more women involved in public service. Lawless says it makes her optimistic -- but only tepidly -- about the future of women in politics.

While seeking appointed office or working on campaigns is great, Lawless says now is the time for women to start thinking about putting their names on a ballot.  

“There are some positions, policies, roles that only elected officials can play. With 500,000 elected positions in this country, someone is going to occupy them ... I find it really hard to believe there isn’t some issue or problem that you couldn’t make better by throwing your own hat into the ring,” she says. 

Lawless was our most recent guest on "The 23%: Conversations With Women in Government." Listen to her interview below. You can also subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher, and check out our archives.


By the way, we’re taking a break for the month of August. See you in September with more awesome women where you live!

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.
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