The Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) was founded in 1993 to raise women’s voices and influence within the party. WLF serves as the Democratic Party’s centralized hub for activation, information, and fundraising for Democratic women and their allies.
About the WLF
The mission of the Women’s Leadership Forum is to raise women’s voices and influence within the Democratic Party by serving as the centralized hub for activation, information, and significant fundraising for Democratic women and their allies. Specifically, WLF creates an active network of women who work closely with state and local parties to elect Democrats by:
- Engaging women in policy and platform discussions, providing opportunities for them to voice their opinions and help shape the party.
- Organizing regional and national events, trainings, and networking opportunities.
- Communicating regularly via informational briefs, talking points, and rapid response information.
- Raising funds for the Democratic Party and its candidates.
- Recruiting and cultivating new and diverse women as well as progressive allies to the party.
In 1993, Tipper Gore and 36 women gathered to discuss ways to give women a greater voice in the national party. The outcome was 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, WLF has established a strong record of outreach and fundraising for the Democratic Party.
In 1994, Tipper Gore was named the first WLF Honorary Chair. In the year leading up to the 1996 election, First Lady Hillary Clinton and Tipper Gore hosted dozens of WLF events across the country.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Leadership Forum. As we reflect on WLF, we would be remiss not to acknowledge the evolution of this organization. WLF started out primarily as a finance council for women to raise their voices by raising funds for the party and now exists as a way to amplify women’s voices within the party.
Why the WLF
WLF recruits and engages women in Democratic politics. Today, we’re proud to see that women are more engaged in the political sphere than ever. They’re getting involved on the ground level as organizers, volunteers, and activists, and they’re running for office in record numbers. But research shows that women are historically less likely than men to run for public office or participate in political fundraising, and WLF is committed to eliminating the gender disparity in politics by encouraging women to join our ranks and support the Democratic Party. WLF ensures that women’s voices and values continue to be represented by our party leadership, because we are the party that fights for women.
Support for women candidates
Through your support of the WLF, we will be able to recruit more Democratic women to run for office. The WLF works to close the gender gap by raising funds for the DNC, which, in turn, engages women activists at the grassroots level.
Closing the gender gap in presidential fundraising ranks
The WLF works to close the fundraising gender gap by focusing its fundraising efforts on women. Historically, men dominated the fundraising ranks and outnumbered women bundlers. Female candidates also raised less than their male counterparts. But we are thrilled to see the tide is turning due to strong women who have added their name to ballots across the country and with the help of organizations like the WLF.
Contact the WLF
Interested in becoming a WLF member? Check out the membership program and make a contribution HERE.
WLF Membership includes:
- Invitations to national WLF calls, WLF newsletters, & exclusive DNC communications
- Invitation to join WLF working groups & regional networks
- Invitations to DNC fundraising events all over the country
For more information, please contact:
Jessica Knight Henry
Director, Women’s Leadership Forum
Thank you so much to everyone who attended our National Conference in May! It was an inspiring and uplifting two days of training and speakers.
Stay tuned for details about upcoming events and ways to get involved and get out the vote in November.