By Cynthia Richie Terrell on February 22, 2019
The last time two women led a House committee, the year was 1977 and the panel was the Select Committee on the House Beauty Shop.
My first understanding of gender quotas and their effect on women’s representation occurred in my political science research course. We were practicing with SPSS data software and our instructor had us run a test comparing the percentage of women in legislatures worldwide amongst countries with and without quotas. As the graph processed, we could see two distinct curves emerge— the line representing countries with quotas veered significantly upwards, showing the rapid difference in representation one institutionalized rule made. It was a clear, statistically-proven example of a concrete tool being used to successfully increase women’s participation in government, and although I was aware that other countries had varying levels of representation for women and minority groups, I had never considered that specific techniques to achieve parity could be used to advance those results.Read more
“Allowing parents to use campaign funds for child care, we will see a more diverse field of candidates,” said Payne, mother of four young children.
Each week brings a perplexing quandary for me - there is so, so much to report on about women's international representation and efforts to expand women's representation in the United States but there are also many projects/events/deadlines encroaching on my time that prevent me from doing an adequate job reporting on it all! My time is short again this week but here are a couple highlights!
The New York Times published portraits of 130 of the 131 women serving in the 116th Congress - there was a nice piece in the Times describing the process and another great piece in Coieter by Bibi Deitz that captures the impact:
In a perfect world, Congress would have way more women and we wouldn’t be applauding the fact that they comprise almost a quarter of the House and Senate. But—baby steps. This term, women comprise close to 25 percent of Congress, which is still not enough, but it’s a good start.Read more
Ms. Pelosi, surrounded by her grandchildren and the children of other members of Congress, on her first day as speaker in 2007. CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times Read the full story
To the left of the dais — the Democratic side — the typical sea of men’s suit jackets was balanced by pops of green, blue and white worn by women. Bald heads alternated with bobbed haircuts. Scanning the rows, the record number of women and lawmakers of Hispanic, Asian and African American heritage who will serve this term was clear.
To the right of the dais — the Republican side — older white men occupied nearly every seat. Visually, granddaughters provided most of the contrast.