Research Projects

The Center for Women in Government supports research that offers data-driven suggestions for increasing the number of women in politics and public policy. These projects help guide our future programming in the areas of campaign training and civics education.

Current Projects

The teaching of civics in Texas Schools in collaboration with iCivics and Tufts University

TWU faculty members Wouter van Erve, Ph.D., and Clare Brock, Ph.D., were granted a joint appointment with the center to survey Texas teachers and administrators and measure civic education attitudes and training in Texas schools. The survey included questions about the survey participants’ civics knowledge, pedagogical training, and classroom teaching methods. The research suggests that teachers feel more standalone civics education is needed in Texas, and that our teachers desire more resources and materials to help support civics education as a whole. Results from the paper be can found in the CWPPP iCivics Teacher Survey White Paper. Additional analysis was presented at the Southern Political Science Association annual meeting in 2021, with a revision of the paper planned for journal submission.

Snapshot of Texas Women Officeholders

Following the 2020 election, the CWPPP student research team created a list of elected Texas officials in federal, executive, judicial, county, and municipal office to determine the percentage of women holding offices. Student researchers determined gender based upon official and self-identified gender by examining biographies, campaign materials, and other candidate-approved information sources. Access results of the research here. Overall, the report shows an increasing number of women elected to the judicial branch and local governments of Texas, driving our center’s investment in nonpartisan campaign training programs, such as emBOLDenHER, the LBJ Women’s Campaign School and Campaign Bootcamp.

View results of the 2019 Snapshot of Texas Women Officeholders, completed after the 2018 election.

Challenges and Aspirations of Texas Officeholders

Using the data collected in the Snapshot of Texas Women Officeholders, the center’s research team sent survey invitations to all elected officials in legislative, judicial, county and municipal office who held officeholder-specific email addresses. The survey asked officeholders to identify the challenges faced during campaigns, discuss the reason why they decided to run for office, and state their aspirations for higher elected office. The survey found that women officeholders often spent less time deciding whether to run for office compared to their male colleagues, with many of our women respondents taking less than a year to decide to run for office. Also of note, political aspirations for higher office were similar between the genders, with the majority of respondents against seeking higher office. Results from the survey will be presented at the 2022 Midwestern Political Science Association annual meeting.

Page last updated 1:00 PM, January 30, 2024