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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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 13, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on March 13, 2020


Jacinda Ardern with her partner & baby, The New York Times

My dear friends,
Belinda Luscombe had a fascinating piece in Time Magazine on New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern's "Next Big Test" that provides a window into the challenges & opportunities facing the young leader:

Ardern has infused New Zealand with a new kind of soft power. When she visited the U.K. to meet Queen Elizabeth II, who is still New Zealand’s head of state, she wore a kahu huruhuru, a feathered cloak bestowed by Maoris on people of honor. Lots of world leaders try the trick of celebrating a nation’s first peoples by donning the local dress. But Ardern, visibly pregnant at the time, didn’t wear her gift with the awkwardness of Western leaders who show up at local photo shoots in guayaberas or floral headdresses. She rocked it. “Other countries want to be associated with what she represents,” says Hayward. “That’s what’s unusual. She’s not having to ask for the time. The doors are opened because it’s helpful for other leaders to be associated with her.”

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 6, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on March 06, 2020


UN Women envisioned a new country called Equiterra, in which equality between genders, climate justice, and inclusion would reign. (Photo: Ruby Taylor/UN Women)
Dear fans of women's representation,
Many thanks to our friends at UN Women who wrote a fabulous piece on Medium about 'Equiterra' a "New Utopian World Where Gender Equality Reigns" - I know you will enjoy reading the whole piece but here is a teaser:

BREAKING NEWS: We found a country that has achieved gender equality!

In Equiterra all people have equal rights and opportunities, regardless of their gender. Women and girls feel safe when walking at night. They get paid equally as men, for work of equal value.

Men and women share chores and care duties at home, and they can access high quality care at affordable rates. Isn’t that fabulous!

No one is talking about ‘at least 30 per cent’ quota for women in political leadership in Equiterra anymore — men and women are equally represented in political offices, corporate boardrooms and factory floors. Women have equal say in decisions that affect their lives, their bodies, their policies, and their environment. Girls are as valued as boys are, and people of all gender and sexuality feel safe and equal.

This is what gender equality looks like. Join us for a tour of its bustling capital!

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 28, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on February 28, 2020


(Melinda Gates Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Founder of Pivotal Ventures. Author of The Moment of Lift meeting with women)
Dear friends,
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. In anticipation of this milestone, the team at RepresentWomen helped to create this video to encourage parliamentarians to meet the goals for women's representation and leadership that were developed 25 years ago. Melinda Gates, pictured above, penned these words about what she has learned about women's equality over the last few decades:

In addition to the foundation’s 20th anniversary, this year marks another milestone I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: the 25th anniversary of the Beijing World Conference on Women. (If that name doesn’t ring a bell, you may know it as the event where Hillary Clinton famously declared that “Human rights are women's rights, and women’s rights are human rights.”)

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