A new study found that women are underrepresented in local city government across the nation and that it will take 500 years for the ratio of male to female local politicians in power to even out.
“Who Runs Our Cities? The Political Gender Gap in the Top 100 U.S. Cities,” a report released by City University of New York Institute for State and Local Governance’s Equality Indicators reveals that in the top 100 U.S. cities, women represent only 18 percent of mayors. Only 355 of 1,057 city councilors are women, even in cities where women make up more than half the population.
New York, Philadelphia and Boston were ranked first, fifth and 23rd respectively. All three cities have a male mayor and none have ever been led by a woman — a fact shared with 31 other major U.S. cities included in the study. More than a quarter of New York’s and Boston’s local politicians are women, according to the report. Philadelphia leads with its pack of politicians boasting about one-third female.
The study’s authors wrote that it isn’t that female candidates do poorly compared to their male counterparts during elections; fewer women tend to run for office. The study listed gendered social roles, negative self-perceptions, limited exposure to politics and lack of support as reasons why women might not elect to run for political office.
Read the full report below: