Women lag in political giving

American women control more than half the nation’s wealth, but they are not making their financial heft felt in the political arena, a new study says.

Women hold the purse strings for 51 percent of the wealth in the U.S. and spend more than $7 trillion a year, but they account for fewer than three in 10 dollars donated to political candidates, political parties or political action committees, says a study released by the Women’s Campaign Forum Foundation.

Women who give to charity cite the same motivations as female political donors, but they do not associate the social change they desire with the political process, and without prompting, fewer than one in four female charitable donors will give politically in the future.

In 2006, fewer than one in three political donations of $1,000 or more came from women, the study says.

But an increase of 22 percent in political giving by women would generate an additional $43 million for candidates.

To encourage more women to support the political process, the report recommends candidates point out the effect their contributions will have on issues, and appeal to women’s sense of social responsibility.

Campaigns also should prove women the opportunity to meet candidates in person and interact with other female donors as well as campaign supporters and staff.

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