People

Women’s Leadership Forum

About the WLF

Mission Statement:

The Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum engages women in our party by organizing regional and national events — providing women with a platform to engage in policy discussions, a community of dynamic female leaders, and with networking opportunities to inspire further involvement — while generating significant financial support for the Democratic Party.

Current Activities:

The WLF is working to fulfill its mission by offering the following opportunities, all with an emphasis on substantive information, discussion, and action:

  1. Annual National Issues Conference
  2. Regional events focused on policy initiatives to raise political awareness and attract new members
  3. Conference calls with policy and political leaders
  4. Email updates and calls to action
History:

In October 2013, the WLF presented its 20th Anniversary Annual National Issues Conference with the theme “The Next Generation of Women Leaders” aimed at highlighting “women to watch” and young leaders making noteworthy contributions in their fields. The conference included keynote addresses by First Lady Michelle Obama and Texas State Senator Wendy Davis. Other featured guests included Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Cecile Richards, DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile, DNC Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and many other issue experts and elected officials. The conference highlighted the significant role women played to re-elect President Barack Obama as well as presented important policy updates and field tools for women to take back to their communities.

DNC Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced the launch of a new initiative focused on women’s outreach called the Democratic Women’s Alliance. WLF members are eager for its debut at the DNC in 2014 and excited to collaborate on efforts to reach women voters, encourage women to run for office, hold the GOP accountable, and communicate issues important to women effectively.

Leading up to the 2013 conference and special elections, the WLF organized events in New York, Dallas, Atlanta, DC, Chicago, and Seattle with the First Lady, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, DNC Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and many others. As we look ahead to the 2014 midterm elections, the WLF will continue to host national and regional events to support the DNC’s four pillars and work to elect Democratic and female candidates across the country.

In 2008, the WLF and Women for Obama raised more than $5 million and hosted approximately 1500 women in Chicago for a two-day conference featuring President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and Oprah Winfrey among others.

Based on the success of the “Take Five” program, the WLF and the Women’s Vote Center launched “Take Six in ‘06” which asked women to educate and encourage six women to join them at the polls on Election Day in 2006. The following year, Nancy Pelosi was elected as the first woman Speaker of the House and Kirsten Gillibrand, the WLF NY Network Chair, took office as the first WLF member elected to Congress.

In 2004, the WLF and the Women’s Vote Center rolled out the “Take Five” program which encouraged every Democratic woman to bring five women to the polls on Election Day. The WLF partnered with Women for Kerry to reach as many women as possible during the election cycle.

In 2003, the WLF celebrated its 10th Anniversary with events across the nation and at the Annual Issues Conference with the theme “It’s Time to Tell the Truth…The Real State of the Union.”

In 2001, the WLF founded the Women’s Vote Center, a new DNC initiative to recruit and train women to serve as effective political advocates and future leaders and engage with grassroots leaders across the country.

In the years leading up to the 2000 election, the WLF hosted networking events in several cities, as well as an annual conference bringing together thousands of women and raising a record-breaking $7 million during the 2000 election cycle.

In 1994, Tipper Gore was named the first WLF Honorary Chair. In the year leading up to the 1996 re-election, First Lady Hillary Clinton and Tipper Gore hosted dozens of WLF events across the country.

In 1993, Tipper Gore and 36 women gathered to discuss ways to give women a greater voice in the National Party. The outcome: a new DNC finance council called the Women’s Leadership Forum. Its mission is to maintain a viable women’s program that is an integral part of the Democratic National Committee. Since its formation, the WLF has established a strong record of outreach and fundraising for the Democratic Party through policy briefings, networking receptions, and the annual National Issues Conference.

Recent Updates
  • Women’s Leadership Forum 2014

    Democratic women from across the country spent two days gathered together to hear from First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Barack Obama, and many other Democratic leaders. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 3 Takeaways from the GOP’s Latest Poll of Women

    Republicans are out of touch, and now they have the data to prove it. Earlier this week, Politico released details of a survey funded in part by Karl Rove’s PAC. Here are our three key takeaways from the research (not that we expect them to change the GOP’s attitudes toward women).

    1. Republicans “fail to speak to women in the different circumstances in which they live.”

    Republicans’ research found that women “believe that ‘enforcing equal pay for equal work’ is the policy that would ‘help women the most.’” Women still make just 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man, adding up to over $430,000 in lost compensation on average in a lifetime. By repeatedly voting against policies to ensure that women receive equal pay, the report warns, “Republicans who openly deny the legitimacy of the issue will be seen as out of touch with women’s life experiences.”

    2. Republicans are “stuck in the past.”

    The women polled for the report described Republicans as “intolerant” and “lacking in compassion.” In an effort to change this image, the GOP wants to, in the words of the study, “pursue policy innovations that inspire women voters to give the GOP a ‘fresh look.’” Suggestions included “strengthening enforcement against gender bias in the workplace.” The only problem? We’re still waiting for Republicans to join us in supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act!

    3. The GOP isn’t changing their position; they’re changing the subject.

    When it comes to addressing the issues that matter to women the most, Republicans are quick to change the subject. The research concludes that when it comes to tough issues like reproductive health, Republican leaders should “deal honestly with any disagreement on abortion, then move to other issues.” But Republicans aren’t moving on – they’re committing time and taxpayer money to restricting access to reproductive health care. That’s time they could be spending on policies that help working families, like raising the minimum wage, expanding access to paid sick leave, and making childcare more affordable.

    There are less than ten weeks until Election Day. Share this article to keep the conversation going, and make sure your friends and family vote: 

    Share on Facebook

    Share on Twitter

     

  • Stand with Florida Women

    As we close out National Women’s Health Week, I’m struck by the dramatic contrast between Republicans’ and Democrats’ priorities when it comes to women’s health.

    Democrats are hard at work helping women access health care by defending the Affordable Care Act, and with it, no co-pay preventive care, guaranteed access to maternity coverage, and ending discrimination by health insurance companies based on pre-existing conditions or gender. And, of course, we believe that a woman’s health care decisions should be made between her and her doctor. Period. Not her boss. And certainly not politicians.

    Read More
  • LOAD MORE
Stay Connected
The Mame Reiley Fellowship Women’s Leadership Forum: Get Involved
Recent Action
President Obama Appoints Four More Women to Federal Judgeships
May 17, 2013
President Obama nominated four women to federal judgeships, further illustrating his dedication to creating a federal judiciary that better reflects our nation.
Violence Against Women Act Reauthorized
March 7, 2013
President Obama signed the reauthorization of VAWA — a groundbreaking piece of the legislation that combats sexual assault by holding offenders responsible while aiding victims.
President commits to battling HIV/AIDS
December 7, 2011
On World AIDS Day President Obama directed $50 million in increased funding for the treatment and care of HIV/AIDS, a disease that disproportionally affects women both internationally and domestically.