By Antonella Iannarino, @TheWomensDebate

There is a pervasive misunderstanding of women’s issues and the social structures that continue to put up barriers to equity. In a study released last August, respondents answered that when a 2016 presidential candidate said “women’s issues” he or she meant either equal pay or abortion rights. Further troubling is the disparity between the belief in equality—77% think women should have equal positions in solving community and national problems—and the understanding of how much power women actually have. Women make up only 20% of Congress but more than a third of respondents believed that women have equal power at the national level.

Issues that affect women and girls, and often disproportionately, extend far beyond reproductive rights. Women have not had a representative seat at the table, and it shows in how the broader definition of women’s issues has been largely ignored in this election cycle.

The Women’s Debate was formed to ask our presidential candidates to begin addressing the economic, safety, and health concerns that affect all of us every day.

As Jose Zeilstra wrote in the Huffington Post earlier this year, “Women make up more than half of the American population and turn out to vote more than men, so we expect to be taken very seriously during this presidential election.”

Here, then, is our plan for what’s next.

Originally published by United State of Women Summit blog. Reposted with permission from The Women’s Debate.

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