The Americans with Disability Act was passed in July 1990, providing legal avenues for access to spaces and opportunities for those with disabilities. Yet 31 years after this historic law was passed, American women with disabilities continue to fight for an equal voice and opportunities for representation.
Sixty-six countries have outpaced the United States in women’s representation—not because their women are more qualified or ambitious, but because they have implemented electoral systems and policies to ensure more level playing fields and greater opportunity in the electoral process.
If the U.S. wants to accelerate greater gender representation and demonstrate it truly values women’s political leadership, we need changes to our political and electoral systems.
When our leaders believe that there is no longer a gender representation problem because we’ve elected “more women than ever before” or “we have a woman vice president,” they fail to contemplate the nuanced failures that lack representation of Black women in the U.S. Senate and AAPI women in the core 15 executive agencies represent.