House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Monday that voting women into Congress and other elective offices would lead to better policy decisions, and would help restore American democracy.
“Electing more women is a very wholesome thing for our democracy,” she said at Monday’s White House forum on working families. “Electing women to elective office is the most wholesome act that we can take to help our democracy.”
Pelosi, the first woman to be elected Speaker of the House, stressed that women aren’t better than men at governing, but said policy decisions would be better with more women around.
“It’s not that women are better than men. The beauty is in the mix. The decisions are better,” she said. “It’s all about the balance.”
Pelosi said men are more likely to insist on their own way, while women are more open to compromise.
“A woman would not succeed as a leader in terms of passing legislation if she went in there like a man with a hammer,” she said. “We women have our loom and we weave… our solutions listening to everyone’s concerns, building consensus. Not the lowest common denominator, but the strongest possible action we can take for the good of the American people.”
She said one way to elect more women would be to get money out of politics, which she said would lead to a more civil debate.
“I say this as an absolute guarantee,” she said. “If you reduce the role of money in politics and increase the level of civility in debate, you will elect more women to elected office across the board.”
She said when Democrats ruled the House, a majority of Democrats were women, minorities and LGBT, and said that was reflected in their committee chair assignments.
“That’s important because people see people like them, who have their aspirations, their challenges, with seat at table,” she said. “But not only with a seat at the table, a seat at the head of the table.”
Pelosi spoke at a panel on the need for career ladders and leadership roles for women, which was hosted by MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski. It also featured Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Judith Rodin, Professor of Leadership and Ethics at the Colubmia Business School Katherine Phillips, Black Entertainment Television CEO Debra Lee, and activist Gloria Steinem.