Dr. Joan Perry was hope for Republican women. What happened?

By Gilda Geist by on July 16, 2019

Dr. Joan Perry and Rep. Greg Murphy have a lot in common. They were both candidates in the primary run-off for North Carolina’s third congressional district. They’re both doctors. They’re both Republicans. They’re both against abortion. But they also have one key difference — Murphy is advancing to the general election, and Perry isn’t. On July 9, in a race to fill a seat in Congress left by Walter Jones when he died, Murphy took home 60 percent of the vote, while Perry garnered only 40. 

This outcome highlights the Republican Party’s consistent struggle to elect women. While the results of the 2018 midterm election broke records for women’s representation, most of the victories were on the Democrats’ side. Democrats sent 89 women to the House of Representatives, while the number of Republican women in the House fell from 23 to 13. 

But why aren’t Republican women winning?

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Meet the Team: Gilda

By Gilda Geist by on July 15, 2019

"Being a politics major, most of the intellectual spaces available to me are dominated by men, so working with a team of driven and intelligent women at RepresentWomen is refreshing. I look forward to learning something new from all of them."

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Meet the Team: Marilyn

By Marilyn Harbert by on July 10, 2019

"Being a woman who wants to go into politics, I’ve always been acutely aware of the representation gap we face. However, I don’t think I truly saw all of the benefits increased representation can bring until this year."

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Meet the Team: Andrea

By Andrea Rebolledo by on July 09, 2019

"I remember that when I was in sixth grade, my teacher told me that I should stop being so “bossy”, otherwise people would not like me. After getting angry and complaining about why she didn’t say the same to the boys, one of my classmates called me a “feminist”. Neither of them meant those descriptions in a good way, obviously. The indignation I felt in that moment is something that has followed me throughout the years, motivating my decisions and actions. With time I learnt to not only appreciate the term “feminist”, but to use it as a banner."

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Meet the Team: Allison

By Allison Mackenzie by on July 08, 2019

"Being a female athlete all my life and now at the collegiate level, very few women have coached me. Yes, it is true that more and more women are coaching women, but people often forget that almost no women are coaching men. After playing basketball up until college, it had always stuck out to me is that there were little to none women coaching men’s basketball. In politics and athletics, there are too many firsts that have not occurred yet for women."

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Women's Representation in Costa Rica

By Louisa Sholar by on July 03, 2019

"Legislative Assembly President Carolina Hidalgo (third from left) and leadership" (Legislative Assembly via The Tico Times)

While there are several reasons I believe in efforts to support female candidates, my semester abroad in Costa Rica gave me a new perspective on gender parity pursuits. Studying their electoral system and gender quota laws prompted me to consider what institutional reforms would look like in the United States and strengthened my dedication to advocacy surrounding this topic. 

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation June 7, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on June 07, 2019


(The members of the first all-female Madison School Board, from left, Ali Muldrow, Ananda Mirilli, Mary Burke, Gloria Reyes, Cris Carusi, Kate Toews and Nicki Vander Meulen.

One hundred years later, Wisconsin government doesn’t exactly look like it was the first to ratify the 19th Amendment recognizing women’s right to vote.

Women represent just 27% of the seats in the state Legislature, have not served as governor or Assembly speaker, and hold just 20% of county board seats, 12% of mayorships and only two out of 10 positions in the state’s congressional delegation.


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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 31, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on May 31, 2019


Dear women's representation enthusiasts,
Africanews.com reported that the government of South Africa now has a gender balanced cabinet joining Rwanda and Ethiopia - which is very exciting news:

South Africa’s cabinet announced on Wednesday became the third on the African continent that has an equal number of female and male ministers.

Ramaphosa who hailed the cabinet for making history as the first gender-parity cabinet in the country’s history, joins Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame who have taken similar actions.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 24, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on May 24, 2019


(Nevada's majority-female legislature)
Dear readers,
This missive will be brief because I know we all might need a break from the news - but here are some highlights from the week! Next week I promise a full rundown of election results from Australia and from India - if they are available.
The Washington Post had a very interesting story about the nation's first majority-female legislature:

Since Nevada seated the nation’s first majority-female state legislature in January, the male old guard has been shaken up by the perspectives of female lawmakers. Bills prioritizing women’s health and safety have soared to the top of the agenda. Mounting reports of sexual harassment have led one male lawmaker to resign. And policy debates long dominated by men, including prison reform and gun safety, are yielding to female voices.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 17, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on May 17, 2019


(I suspect these Irish sheep favour quotas...)
My dear friends,
There was a fascinating article in The Times of Dublin about the National Women's Council of Ireland's call for gender quotas in local elections - another reminder that other nations are leading the conversation about innovative systems reforms to advance women's representation and leadership:

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) has called for gender quotas to be introduced in future local elections after Fianna Fail and Fine Gael both failed to achieve 30% female nominations in their lists of candidates.

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Join us in turning public passion for gender parity into action and results