By confronting the problems once marginalized as women’s issues, we can tackle the greatest dangers of the 21st century.

Behind every major crisis, there’s an unseen factor at play, there’s a story you’ve never been told. The greatest indicator of the world’s stability, wealth, and safety is the status of women.

— Gloria Steinem


Women make up half the voters—let’s address our issues and how non-gendered issues affect women half of the time.

-Amy Cross, Washington, DC

Women’s issues are commonly referred to, but seldom actually debated.

-Eric Miller, Trumansburg, NY

Because women’s issues are our issues.

-Ryan Wilson, Fairhope, AL

Our country claims equal rights under the law, but women are still viewed as less important than men. We are disgusted by women being killed and beaten in other countries; however, women in the U.S. are beaten down with lower wages, being hired for lower prestigious jobs, even with better qualifications, and still viewed as the second supporter in a two parent family. The glass ceiling remains, but we seem thwarted from what we see through that glass.

-Lisa Magrane, Ottumwa, IA

Cambio urgente las mujeres son líderes en nuestro días no mas discriminación a las mujeres es momento de tomar en cuenta.

-Abner Ortiz, Myrtle Beach, SC

Too long women have been kept out of the driver seat.

-Leonard van Gendt, Georgetown, TX

More than ever, in an age of single-parent families, mothers bear an enormous load to produce mentally and physically healthy families. Let’s do more to support them!

-Charles Schlangen, San Francisco, CA

It is just time. Women’s health and well being, whether economic, psychological or physical, are too important to the well being of the nation. Women shoulder most of the responsibility for raising the next generation. If all is well with women, all is better for the world.

-Janet Reindl-Bransfield, Hockessin, DE

Women continue to be short changed in our economy.

-Jean Robertson, Newburgh, IN

Getting paid differently for the same job for any other reason besides job performance is probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

-John Lucas, Ronceverte, WV

These are important issues to me and my family.

-Randi Franklin, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

These are important issues to me and my family.

-Randi Franklin, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

Comments from signers of the petition seeking a presidential debate on women’s issues in the 2016 election.

Election Debates

N increase voter knowledge

N help set policy agendas

N influence voter decision-making

N force candidates to address issues

What is a Women's Issue?

A social or economic problem or reality that unduly or mostly affects women, but whose solution or support can benefit everyone.

Ex: paid family leave, sexual exploitation & violence, single parenthood

»Definition 2

What to Ask


lHealth, Safety, & Family

lNational Security

lEqual Rights Amendment

The best public policy is made when you are listening to people who are going to be impacted.

-Elizabeth Dole

Women represent half the population and turn out to vote more than men.

Yet in the 2016 presidential election, during 21 primary debates asking more than 700 questions, only 6 questions were asked about issues that disproportionately affect women and did not mention abortion or Planned Parenthood.

  • 12 on “abortion” or “Planned Parenthood”
  • 6 on women’s issues

By introducing these issues in local and national election debates, we can help raise awareness, evaluate our leaders’ fluency in intersecting issues and their effects on women, and demonstrate women’s voting power.

The Women’s Debate launched on International Women’s Day 2016 as a nonpartisan campaign calling on presidential candidates to discuss women’s issues in a live debate or town hall.

We created this platform to collect and curate critical questions about women’s issues, which were presented to the Election 2016 candidates.

Women: think about the power of your vote. Make it matter.
Demand something for it. We are worth it. - Maria Shriver

Countdown to Election 2020








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