• POLITICAUSE.NET: DEVELOPING A VIRTUAL CROWDSOURCING COMMUNITY TO INCREASE THE ENGAGEMENT OF WOMEN IN POLITICS

      Stam, Kathryn; Thesis Advisor; Lizardi, Ryan; Second Reader; Topping, Veronique (2020-05)
      For the past 40 years, the continued growth and engagement of women in the political process has created opportunities to increase the influence of the female electorate. Through grassroots political activism, community networks, and online advocacy, women voters have been galvanized to come together collectively to take action to address relevant political issues, but this rising political enthusiasm has not translated into an equal focus on women's issues or equal representation in Congress. This thesis examines the factors that have contributed to the growth and influence of women's political advocacy and explores women's political engagement/activism, traditional vs. online activism, the effectiveness of all-women online networks, and female voter demographics. Based on this research, I developed a virtual crowdsourcing community as a shared space for members to propose and discuss important and timely women's issues including domestic violence, reproductive health, and pay equity and to collaborate to suggest relevant legislation to political leaders. The purpose of this social network is provide a platform for women activists and constituents to connect with others who want to advance the political causes that are relevant to women and to increase the engagement of women in politics to achieve gender equality in local and national government.