"It's the attention that goes toward telling female candidates what they need to do to win," says the group's executive director and founder Susannah Shakow, "and understanding the barriers they might face."
Barriers, she says, include scrutiny female candidates receive over their appearance, or over running for office with children, or while pregnant, or for not having children at all. When Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand had a baby in 2010, for example, there were a number of critical stories about her baby weight.
Both parties are now looking forward to 2014. In two years, 36 states will hold elections for governor, and all are potential seats for women. Governorships are one place were Republicans are beating Democrats in terms of gender diversity, with three Republican women holding governorships, compared to the Democrats holding zero.
"We're thrilled," Schriock said on Wednesday, just before Heidi Heitkamp was declared winner in North Dakota, becoming the 20th woman elected to the Senate this year. "But we have a long way to go here."
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