Meet the Team: Baktybek Kainazarov

By Baktybek Kainazarov on August 29, 2018

Coming from a patriarchal society in Central Asia, it is a great challenge to advocate for women’s political participation and gender advancement. When I meet colleagues from governmental institutions and even from civil society organizations, they ask two questions: “Why does the political participation of women matter for our country and is it difficult to advocate for gender advancement while being male?” My simple answer is that I think about the future of my daughter and little sisters who are potentially vulnerable to issues such as underage marriage, bride kidnapping, gender based violence, and girls education.

My interests in gender advancement increased during my PhD research on Central Asian civil society, whereby I investigated the role of women in our society. Five years of research on the civil society sector of the post-Soviet region totally changed my view on gender issues and it gave me a great opportunity to explore cultural and traditional barriers faced by women and adolescent girls across the region. Hence, after my PhD research I committed myself to work in the area of gender equality at the academic and professional level.

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If we can achieve gender parity in our student government associations, then why haven't we achieved the same in Congress?

By RepresentWomen by on August 25, 2018

In high schools around the country, the number of men and women that are interested in politics, and that run for student government are about equal. In college, about 52.93% of student government positions are held by women, which is representative of undergraduate students demographics.  But that parity is not maintained after college. Despite making up 51% of the population, women only make up 20% of congress, and the problem isn’t just getting elected – only 22% of this year’s senatorial candidates are women, which is the highest it’s ever been, but it still shows how few women are running. So why aren’t women running for office nearly as much as they do in a scholastic environment?

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 24, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on August 24, 2018


(NY state assembly women Nathalia Fernandez & Patricia Fahy with Manhattan Borough president Gale Brewer at the Susan B Anthony Park in Rochester, NY)
Happy Women's Equality Weekend!
In 1971 Representative Bella Abzug (D NY) called for a women's equality day on August 26th of each year to commemorate ratification of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution that granted women the right to vote, according to the National Women's History Project:

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 and passed in 1973,  the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.”

The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.

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RepresentWomen and Nepali Elected Officials Discuss the Future of Women's Political Representation

By Nancy Lavin on August 24, 2018

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#Women to Watch on September 4th

By Evelien van Gelderen by on August 17, 2018

#WomenToWatch is a series by RepresentWomen that documents rising women leaders and their stories.

Ayanna Pressley’s campaign message is simple: “Change Can't Wait." Pressley, a 44-year old African American woman, was the first black female Boston City Council member. She is running in the Massachusetts Democratic primaries on September 4th to represent the state’s 7th Congressional District. She will be up against incumbent Representative Mike Capuano, who has held the seat for the past 20 years.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 10, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on August 10, 2018


Dear all,

Once again I am racing out the door - this time to a Rank Your Favorite Beer event nearby which should be fun! Ranked choice voting advocates have been introducing voters to ranked ballots with events like this across the country! Pie tastings work nicely too! The Boston Globe wrote a terrific editorial in favor of ranked choice voting this week - fueling even greater momentum for this reform that elects more women to office and is far more democratic than limiting all races to two candidates - which seems to be the other option if we care about majority rule, and I believe we are a group who cares about majority rule in all senses of the phrase!

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#WomenToWatch on August 11

By Katie Pruitt by on August 10, 2018

#WomenToWatch is a series by RepresentWomen that documents rising women leaders and their stories.

A lot has changed for Beth Fukumoto in the past year. At the start of 2017, Beth Fukumoto was the top-ranking Republican in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. Fukumoto is of Japanese descent and was hailed in several publications as a leader of the changing face of the right. Tomorrow, she is running to become the Democratic nominee in Hawaii’s 1st congressional district. What hasn’t changed, though, is her passion for gender parity in government.

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Interview with Michelle Whittaker

By Evelien van Gelderen by on August 07, 2018

The RepresentWomen interns spoke with Michelle Whittaker, the Communications Manager for Manna Food Center and former Communications/Digital Media Director at Democracy Initiative, last week. Whittaker was previously the Director of Communications at FairVote, where she worked on electoral system reforms such as ranked choice voting. She also worked as the Communications and New Media Director for the General Board of Church and Society, an agency of The United Methodist Church. She recently ran Brandy Brooks’ campaign for an At-Large County Council seat in Montgomery County, MD.

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Primary Recap: Tennessee

By Barbara Turnbull by on August 03, 2018

Though hundreds of women are running and winning in 2018’s Congressional primaries, Republican women are strikingly underrepresented: just 17 percent of women nominees so far this cycle are Republicans. Prior to yesterday’s primary, Tennessee was widely considered to be an exception to this “rule”, with several experienced and well-known Republican women running for House, Senate, and Governor. The state has never elected a woman Governor or Senator.


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#WomentoWatch on August 7

By Evelien van Gelderen by on August 03, 2018

#WomenToWatch is a series by RepresentWomen that documents rising women leaders and their stories.

If Sharice Davids wins the Democratic primary for her district, Kansas 3rd, she could go on to be the first female Native American to serve in Congress and the first openly gay Kansas representative.

Davids, the daughter of a single Army mother, grew up on various military bases across the country. She went on to earn a law degree from Cornell, and served as a White House fellow during President Obama’s final year in office. The 37-year-old is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and a former MMA fighter.

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