Dear friends and allies,
I thought I would share a few things that have captured my attention in the last couple weeks in case any of you are sitting around in front of a cozy fire this weekend looking for a distraction from newly-acquired novels and weighty periodicals.
Dear friends of gender parity,
It's a busy time of year for all of us so I thought I would send along a couple videos to watch:
The first video from Now This entitled: A United Nations Report Shows the U.S. is Failing Women At All Levels, is a sobering reminder of the many challenges we face as we begin our work together in the new year.
Good Afternoon Friends,
As a reminder, the Representation2020 team is sending regular, email updates on Friday afternoons to share information on the great work of our partners and friends on this listserv. If you’d like us to include something, please email Cynthia (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a link or attachment by Friday morning. In supporting each other, we ask that you “like,” share, “<3 [heart],” retweet, and post in the comment sections of these various pieces!
Serving in student government is often seen as an important launching pad into higher elected offices. Educational institutions provide a way for students to become engaged in elected office at a crucial age. Understanding politics, being engaged at a young age, and being in a leadership position is a good way to spark civic interest and encourage young people to run. Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton all served as presidents of their student governments while in college.Read more
Good Afternoon Friends,
As a reminder, the Representation2020 team is going to be sending regular, email updates on Friday afternoons to share information on the great work of our partners and friends on this listserv. If you’d like us to include something, please email me and/or Cynthia with a link or attachment by Friday morning. In supporting each other, we ask that you “like,” share, “<3,” retweet, and post in the comment sections of these various pieces.
Women are incredibly underrepresented at all levels of government and cities are no exception. Representation2020 analyzed America’s 100 largest cities and ranked them in order of percentage of women’s representation on their city councils. A mere 16 out of the 100 largest cities have 50 percent or higher women’s representation on their city councils. Only 14 of these cities have a female mayor.Read more
In a now infamous soundbite from a Rolling Stone interview this past September, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said of fellow presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” Trump quickly tried to backtrack, saying he was referring to Fiorina’s persona and not her physical appearance. However, when asked to address Trump’s comments during the Republican debate-and what she thought of Trump’s comments, Fiorina cooly replied, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.” For the rest of the debate, Fiorina presented well-prepared and substantive comments with her signature poise and CEO-type presence. After the debate, commentators said Fiorina shined and many agreed she had some of the clearest policy positions and the most well-rehearsed responses of any candidates that night. She also experienced a subsequent uptick in the polls.
Only two of the 190 ranked countries in the world have greater than 50% women in their lower or single House, based on the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s research. The IPU’s ranking is a great resource that allows people to see how their country ranks in women’s representation relative to other countries.
Unfortunately, the IPU numeric ranking is misleading. Here’s why: the ranking groups countries that tie as sharing one ranking. For example, Iceland is ranked 11th, according to the new IPU ranking, tied with Namibia and Nicaragua. Following those three countries is Spain, ranked at 12th. A common understanding of ranking 12th globally is that only 11 countries would be ranked higher. That isn’t the case. In fact, 13 countries are ranked higher than Spain. This means an accurate ranking for Spain is 14th in the world. The IPU ranking puts the United States at 76th, but in reality 95 countries rank higher which places the United States at 96th.
It’s tempting to be really encouraged about the state of women’s representation in politics today. After all, we've seen success stories everywhere. Elise Stefanik, a Republican out of New York, earned the title of youngest congresswoman ever elected when she took office in 2014. Mia Love became the first black Republican woman to be elected to Congress when she won in Utah that same year. In fact, all over the country, 2014 was hailed as a “Year of Women.”Read more