Institute of Politics

Cecile Richards

Co-Founder of Supermajority & former President of Planned Parenthood

  • Spring 2021 Pritzker Fellow

  • Seminar Series: “Women on the Front Lines”


Cecile Richards is a national leader for women’s rights and social and economic justice, and a co-founder of Supermajority - a new organization fighting for gender equity. She is the author of New York Times bestseller Make Trouble. As President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund for 12 years, Richards worked to increase affordable access to reproductive health care and to build a healthier and safer world for women and young people. After starting her career as a labor organizer, working with women earning the minimum wage, she went on to start her own grassroots organizations, and later served as Deputy Chief of Staff to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. In 2011 and 2012, she was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. Richards is a frequent speaker and commentator on politics and progressive issues. She and her husband, Kirk Adams, have three children and live in New York City.


“Women on the Front Lines”

More than 100 years after the ratification of the 19th amendment, women are arguably the most vibrant political force in America. In the 2020 elections, women dominated the political primary season and were the overwhelming majority of voters in November. The current Congress has the highest number of women serving in history, and thousands of women in the last four years have raised their hand to run for office.

And yet. The United States still ranks 106th in gender representation, compared with other countries (CFR, 2020). Women earn less than men in the same jobs, and much less for women of color. The pandemic has resulted in women falling back to 1988 levels of workforce participation. And the lack of fundamental supports - affordable childcare, paid family leave, maternity benefits - are making it harder for many women to return to their jobs. Join Cecile Richards for a series of conversations with women on the front lines, where she will explore the political engagement of women in the United States, the change they are working for, and the forecast for what is ahead.

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