More Women in Government Leads to Better Communities

A special message from CEO Tanna Clews, ahead of the November 2023 Municipal Elections:


More Women in Government Leads to Better Communities

On November 7th, voters in 12 New Hampshire cities will head to the polls to vote for the future they want to see in their community. There are many qualified women on the ballot, and we urge you to keep these women in mind as you vote.

More women in government — regardless of party affiliation — leads to better outcomes for women and girls. Women bring a rich background of experiences to the table, are more likely to seek bipartisanship and compromise and diversity of identity and experiences, including gender diversity, leads to better decision-making.

We are proud of New Hampshire’s strong history of women in leadership at the highest levels, but municipal governments continue to struggle to reach gender parity. Historically, women have good representation on School Boards (and we have to keep that up!) but we must also elect more women to our City Councils, Planning Boards, Library Trustees, and as moderators and mayors!

  • Berlin’s School Board is 40% women and its City Council is 38% women. 
  • Concord does better than most cities with 45% women on the School Board and 57% women on City Council. 
  • Claremont has great representation of women on the School Board at 86% (though there is no School Board election in November) and has one of the few women Assistant Mayors in the state, but has ZERO women on City Council. 
  • Dover can be proud that 63% of its City Council and 100% of its School Board are women! 
  • Only 20% of Keene’s City Council are women. 
  • Although Nashua has a School Board that is 89% women, the Board of Aldermen is only 33% women. 
  • Outgoing Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig is one of only TWO women mayors in New Hampshire. Although Manchester won’t have a woman in the corner office next year, voters can increase the percentage of women on the School Board, currently 29% women, and Aldermen, currently 36% women. 
  • In Portsmouth, 89% of the School Board are women and there is a woman of color assistant mayor, but just 33% of City Councilors are women.
  • While 67% of Somersworth School Board members are women, the City Council is only 11% women. 
  • In Rochester, the City Council and School Board are only 25% and 23% women respectively. 

Your vote on November 7th will determine the future of women and women’s representation in your city. Use your vote wisely, and, most importantly, VOTE!

— Tanna Clews, CEO, NH Women’s Foundation


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