AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, the goal of any true democracy that represents the people should be a diversity of representative leadership that reflects the people it serves; and

WHEREAS, the increased inclusion of women in elected governmental offices has consistently shown to infuse a necessary diversity of opinion, voice, experiences and perspectives; and

WHEREAS, while women comprise 50.8 percent[1] of the population, women make up less than 20 percent[2] of the members of Congress, only 25 percent[3] of the members of state legislatures and only six of the nation’s 50 governors; and

WHEREAS, in 1992, the last time women challenged the overwhelming gender imbalance among elected officials to the degree we are seeing in 2018, 24 women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives—the largest group of women ever to enter the House in a single election—and the number of women in the Senate tripled from three to nine;[4] and

WHEREAS, although women’s congressional representation has tripled since the fall of 1992, in 2018 there are still 11 states that have no women representing them in Congress, and gender disparities persist across every level of elected representation;[5] and

WHEREAS, 472 women have entered the race for a congressional seat, 57 women have filed or are likely to seek office in the Senate, and the number of women likely running for governor this year, 78, is a record high; and

WHEREAS, even with record-setting levels of candidacy, women are less than one-quarter of all candidates for the U.S. House this year; and

WHEREAS, one of the biggest reasons there are fewer women in congressional office is not that women are less likely to win than men but that they are less likely to run;[6] and

WHEREAS, a greater diversity of gender among our elected officials will result in the enactment of better policies for our members and the people we serve:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will actively foster the ideal of greater gender diversity among elected officials and candidates seeking elected office in order to promote a more equitable representation by elected officials of the people they represent; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will strongly support a wider inclusion of the voices of women who are seeking and serving in office and who uphold the values and mission of the AFT and its members; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will actively encourage qualified women who take the step of running for office and who our members choose to support, and will engage our members in these women’s campaigns.