Elevating the Gender Dialogue in the Presidential Race: How’s it Going?


One year ago, the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation launched Presidential Gender Watch 2016, a nonpartisan project to track, analyze, and illuminate gender dynamics in the 2016 presidential election. The goal of the project was – and remains – to lend expert analysis to the dialogue around gender throughout the election season. While that includes recognition of the historic nature of having women competing for both major party nominations for president, it goes well beyond talking about the women in the race. Importantly, it means reminding all election observers – media, scholars, practitioners, and voters alike – that gender does not mean women and that gender dynamics are not limited to instances of sexism, whether explicit or implicit. A truer gender dialogue means recognizing the myriad and complex ways in which gender shapes candidate behavior, voter engagement and evaluations, and media coverage and commentary.

We’ve done a lot of work to these ends over the past year, and have been joined by scholars and practitioners who have been generous in lending their support and expertise. We’re also grateful to journalists and commentators who appreciate the diversity of gender dynamics in the presidential election and have used their platforms to engage even larger audiences in this conversation.

With just over 200 days until Election Day, it’s worth taking stock of what we’ve been up to. Here are some lessons learned and shared that are worthy of review:


What’s Next? 

We look forward to continuing these complex conversations about gender and the 2016 race and hope that you will join us. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and monitor our daily news updates and expert analyses on the PGW website.