Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 22, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on May 22, 2020


Top: Alicia Garza, Tina Tchen, Barbara Lee, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mary Robinson. Bottom: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Pat Mitchell, Melinda Gates, Dolores Huerta, Monica Ramirez.
Dear women's representation enthusiasts!
There were a lot of terrific articles this week discussing women's representation and leadership including this piece on Forbes by Marianne Schnall that features interviews with a number of prominent women discussing women's leadership:

A few weeks ago an evocative meme was making the social media rounds: a picture of the leaders of Germany, New Zealand, Belgium, Finland, Iceland and Denmark with the caption “COVID-19 is everywhere but countries with heads of state managing the crisis better seem to have something in common…” Of course the answer was that they were all women. The narrative is that from Angela Merkel of Germany to Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand to Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan (as well as the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway), it does appear that countries who have female leaders at the helm are proving to be faring better during the pandemic thanks to their effective handling of the response to the COVID-19 crisis.  

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 15, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on May 15, 2020


Illustration by Joan Wong; Photographs from Getty Images
Dear women's representation enthusiasts,
There were a number of great pieces tied to the celebration of Mother's Day which pointed to the contradiction between the Hallmark version of the holiday and the lived experiences of many, if not all, women. I especially loved a piece in The New York Times by Kim Brooks titled "Forget Pancakes. Pay Mothers" which challenges readers to think about the work of raising children and running households in the United States:

After just six days of sheltering in place, I found myself thinking about all the women I’d taken for granted.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 8, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on May 08, 2020


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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 1, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on May 01, 2020


Grand Teton National Park wildflowers
Dear fans of women's representation,
As the general election looms ever closer, concern about the voting process is intensifying. There was a great piece in The Fulcrum this week by LeeAnne Grapes about combining mailed ballots with ranked choice voting to ensure a healthy & safe voting process:

Of course, no one could have foreseen a pandemic upending life as we know it. But as the threat of coronavirus became increasingly pressing, the state's Democratic leadership responded by cancelling the in-person caucuses and instead mailing every registered Democrat a ballot that could be dropped off or mailed back.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 24, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 24, 2020


(Rick Egan | Tribune file photo) In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo the Utah governor candidates are pictured. From left, Jeff Burningham, Aimee Winder Newton, Jon Huntsman, Thomas Wright, Greg Hughes and Spencer Cox pose for a group photo with Silicon Slopes Executive Director Clint Betts, center after a debate.

Dear friends,
There was a very interesting piece by Michelle Quist in The Salt Lake Tribune about the under-representation of women in state and local government in Utah and the use of Ranked Choice Voting in several jurisdictions and for GOP state party elections. Utah is a fascinating case study because the legislature adopted the local option bill almost unanimously, the republican party has been central to its effective implementation, and a number of women have been elected with RCV to local office with the catchy slogan faster, better, cheaper to describe ranked choice voting:

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 17, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 17, 2020


Women leaders Andrea Merkel, Tsai Ing-wen, Jacinda Ardernm Katrin Jakobsdottir, Sanna Marin, Erna Solberg, and Mette Frederikson from CNN.com

Dear friends,

Many of you have probably seen the widely-circulated piece by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox in Forbes about the impressive role that women leaders have been playing in reducing the impact of the coronavirus in their respective countries. It's important to note that these countries all have some form of proportional representation voting system to elect their parliaments which, in tandem with intentional recruitment strategies, leads to more women getting elected and women's power becoming normalized. While the United States ranks 81st worldwide for women's representation, Germany ranks 49th, New Zealand ranks 20th, Iceland ranks 31st, Finland ranks 11th, Norway ranks 17th, and Denmark ranks 25th. Research confirms that voting systems have a clear impact on norms around women's leadership and representation, if you'd like to learn more click here. And read a snippet of the piece by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox below:


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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 10, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 10, 2020


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was among the first governors in the nation to take the difficult, decisive action to close all K-12 schools and public universities amid the coronavirus crisis, writes Barbara Lee, president and founder of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation. Photo from Vogue.com
My dear friends,
As news about the coronavirus continues, so does the analysis of the impact on women and contributions of women leaders. This week Barbara Lee, founder and CEO of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, had a very thoughtful piece for Newsweek about the critically important role that women governors and mayors are playing in addressing the crisis.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 3, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 03, 2020


Jeannette Rankin was sworn in as the first woman elected to Congress on April 2nd, 1917 & is the only member of Congress to vote against funding for both the first and second world wars.
Dear friends,
It has been another week of headlines about the coronavirus and its impact on the healthcare system, the economy, and our daily lives. Each week also brings reminders of the women who have worked so hard for the rights we now enjoy and the incredible women leaders among us.
March 31st was the anniversary of Abigail Adams' letter to her husband, written in 1776, admonishing him to remember the ladies:


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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 27, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on March 27, 2020


A World Bank Cambodia Health Sector Support Program, shown here in 2013 (World Bank/Flickr)
Dear Friends,
Despite the arrival of Spring this week it feels as though winter may still be coming - at least in the northern hemisphere. News about the spread of the coronavirus - and the mixed reactions to it - have understandably dominated the headlines. Amidst the cacophony of coverage there have been a number of stories about the impact of the virus on women including this one from The Interpreter by Sara Davies, Sophie Harman, Jacqui True, and Clare Wenham that dives into the role of gender:

The Covid-19 outbreak has revealed the strengths and weaknesses in our collective global and national capacities to respond to this health emergency. Everything in our social world is gendered, and so it is with Covid-19. As with the experience of wars and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, women are often those least visible in crisis decision-making, yet within health emergencies they are conspicuous as healthcare workers and carers. This gendered reality is a remarkable pattern replicated across diverse societies and countries.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 20, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on March 20, 2020


(Seniors at Wellesley College organized an impromptu graduation before they left they left campus, The New York Times)
Dear fans of women's representation,
This week there has been a whirlwind of news relating to the spread of the coronavirus and the new realities we are all facing. For some without adequate healthcare or underlying medical conditions the threat to life is grave while for others the challenges of working remotely and 'social distancing' are very real. My youngest daughter is a college senior and so is bracing for an anti-climatic end to her collegiate career. I thought this photo article in The New York Times by Anemona Hartocolis and Kayana Szymczak is a beautiful tribute to the many students who organized their own graduation ceremonies before they left campus:

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