Why are women less likely to be elected as lawmakers?
The trend has been driven by the economic downturn, said Rachel Lipsky, a professor of political science at Georgetown University.
Many women are leaving the workforce to care for young children or retire to live with their parents, and those with children will also have to leave their careers to care.
But the numbers have also grown since 2008, when women were more likely to hold elected office.
They are now slightly less likely than men to hold office, with only 43 percent of women in the U.S. currently holding elected office compared to 64 percent of men.
While the numbers are still fairly small, the trend is concerning, Lipsay said.
The lack of women on Capitol Hill also contributes to a lack of representation for women in Congress, she said.
Lipsinky, who is also the president of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, said many women who are running for office do not have the same visibility that a man does.
“Women do not know who to look up to,” she said, adding that they may be “trying to protect themselves from being judged as a woman.”
“It is the only place that you see that you are a woman in a lot of ways,” Lipsinski said.
“It’s not that you don’t want to be a woman.
It’s just that you have to go through the process of being a woman to really get that recognition.”
Lipsink, who also teaches courses in women’s and gender studies, said she believes the lack of female politicians could be an issue for the country.
“You need to be more diverse,” she told ABC News.
Women, she noted, make up about 12 percent of Congress and are nearly 10 percent of the U,S.
Linsley said she thinks more people should be electing women, not only because they represent a smaller percentage of the population but because it would be more inclusive.
She said that while there is a stigma that is attached to being a female, it’s also important to have representation, which she believes is a good thing.
“I believe we need more women, because we have to have a voice,” she added.
“Women need to stand up and say that this isn’t OK.
We’re not going to be silenced.
We have to be heard.”
ABC News’ Rachel Linsley, Ashley Parker, Lauren Gorman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.