Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 21, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on February 21, 2020

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Suffragists picketing for the right to vote outside the White House
Dear friends,
Kathy Spillar, Executive Editor of Ms, had a very good piece on the power women women's votes in this centennial of suffrage year:
 
This year marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. A hundred years after suffragists fought for and won the right to vote, women voters—empowered by the feminist, civil rights and LGBTQ movements—will likely determine the outcome of the high-stakes elections of 2020.

Indeed, the power of women voters and feminist candidates to secure women’s rights is right now on display in Virginia, where the State House and Senate have just voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, making theirs the 38th and final state needed to add women to the Constitution.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 14, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on February 14, 2020

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Dorothy Height, Ruby Bridges, Ida B Wells, Condi Rice, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Michelle Obama, Shirley Chisholm, Toni Morrison and Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

Dear friends.
There was an interesting piece in Gulf Today about the use of gender quotas as a tool to advance women's representation in countries around the world:
In recent years we have seen a rise of female representation in governments throughout the world owing in part to certain measures that have been taken allowing for more women in politics. One such measure, albeit a controversial one which to this day stirs quite a debate ranging from it defying the principle of equal opportunity to being outright undemocratic, is the gender-based quota imposed by governments to ensure a substantial female legislative representation. Governments in the MENA region have also taken this issue in stride, a great example of this is seen in the UAE’s Federal National Council (FNC), where the female participation quota has been increased to fifty per cent in an attempt by the government to cement the legislative and parliamentary role of women in the nation's development. Topping this growing list of governments with the greatest gender parity is Rwanda where women make up 61.3% of the lower house

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 7, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on February 07, 2020

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Dear friends,
While it has been a very busy week politically in Iowa and in Washington, DC, it is the eve of another increasingly political event - the Oscars - this coming Sunday evening. RepresentWomen's terrific research fellow Maura Reilly wrote It’s Time for the OscHers: When Will the Academy Honor Female-Driven Storytelling?  that ran in the celebrity online news source The Wrap this week. Be sure to cast your ranked vote for best woman director in our online poll - we will release the results Sunday night:

Support for movies, television and books that exemplify women and girls’ perspectives is not just about being recognized at award shows. The Geena Davis Institute has found the portrayal of women and girls in media directly impacts how young girls view their own abilities and options. “If they can see it, they can be it,” Davis has said, noting that the first step to gaining gender equality and equal opportunity is allowing young girls to imagine any role, job and life that they want for themselves. One of the biggest barriers for women reaching the highest levels of elected office is the perception of female leaders. The first step has to be normalizing the idea of female leaders across all fields — whether elected, appointed or fictional.

In her 2019 Golden Globes acceptance speech, Regina King commited to reaching gender parity in all the work she produces over the next two years, and then added, “I challenge anyone out there who is in a position of power, not just in our industry, in all industries, I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity to do the same.” King’s challenge should be taken up: Until we acknowledge the problem and commit to correcting it, we will never reach gender parity, in film or politics or business. Until our culture, norms and institutions begin to value women, their work, achievements and perspectives as inherently equal to men, we must actively support the female filmmakers and storytellers who are producing female-driven stories. While women directors were shut out of the 2020 Oscar nominations, RepresentWomen would like to introduce our own ballot for the Best Women-Directed Films of 2019, and urge you to rank your favorites.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 31, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on January 31, 2020

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(With When Women Vote authors Stephanie Donner and Amber McReynolds)
Dear friends,
I am in the Denver airport this afternoon awaiting a flight to Cedar Rapids where I will be participating in a gathering of academics whose work centers on reforms to the presidential nomination process. Last night I had the real pleasure of participating in the launch for a new book on strategies to modernize our voting and election systems called When Women Vote:

When Women Vote highlights the challenges Americans, particularly women, face when trying to vote in the current voting system, and the amazing things that happen with reform. We make the case for further voting reform and for removing bias in the voting process by sharing stories and experiences of women voters and leaders throughout the United States.

“Our democracy depends on every vote being counted and every voice being heard. I am grateful for this book highlighting the vital importance of empowering women - from every spectrum, perspective and walk of life - to raise their voice and ensure that they are heard in every powerful room in our country.”
—Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State

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Could Women Vote Before the Nineteenth Amendment? It's Complicated.

By Jordan Westendorf on January 29, 2020

The struggle for the Nineteenth Amendment and full voting rights for women in the United States has had a long and complicated history. Even though women’s suffrage is the foundational struggle for women’s rights, much of the rhetoric, political considerations, and, at times, regressive outcomes, mirrors that of the modern fight for equal representation of women in elected office. 

 

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 24, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on January 24, 2020

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Dear friends,
Bridgette Bruno, Research and Communications Manager for the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, wanted to make sure that readers know about the webinar "Ready, Willing, & Electable: Women Running for Executive Office" that they are hosting on their new research which asks about hypothetical Asian American, Black, Latina, lesbian and white women candidates of the two major political parties to comprehensively examine what it takes for a woman to prove to voters she is ready to serve in executive office.
  • 1pm
  • Wednesday, January 29th
  • Register here: https://mailchi.mp/blff/blffwebinar129
  • Speakers include BLFF’s Amanda Hunter, Lake Research Partner’s Celinda Lake, and Bellwether Research and Consulting’s Chris Matthews.

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Meet the Team: Faith Campbell

By Faith Campbell on January 23, 2020

Hello! My name is Faith, and I just started as a research intern here at RepresentWomen. I’m in Washington for the Semester, but this is not my first time here by a long shot. My (twin) sister moved to the area a few years ago, and I have since repeatedly come to visit. I am a Political Science with a Pre-Law track and a minor in Religion at Marietta College, currently attend AU’s Washington Semester Program with a concentration in Foreign Policy. During my time so far at Marietta College I have been involved with multiple organizations in varying capacities. My favorite being my role as vice-president of the LGBTQIA+ Activism Club.

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Meet the Team: Katie Murnane

By NationBuilder Support on January 23, 2020

If you want to lift up humanity, empower women. It is the most comprehensive, pervasive, high-leverage investment you can make in human beings.” Melinda Gates, Moment of Lift

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Meet the Team: Jordan

By Jordan Westendorf on January 22, 2020

As a debater in high school, I was told to "cool it" or to "calm down" because I  was "too aggressive" at least once a tournament. It took me way too long to decipher the coded language saying that I wasn't allowed to raise my voice or make impassioned arguments because I was a woman in a male-dominated sport. No matter what I did to try to counteract it--causing me to question my likeability and personality--I would be docked points. So, in my junior year, I decided to lean into it. I became the very best pant-suit-and-stiletto-wearing-cheerleader-debater that my school had seen. It was unapologetically me.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 17, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on January 17, 2020

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Members of the Virginia House of Delegates cheered for Delegate Jennifer D. Carroll Foy, center, a sponsor of a resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.Credit...Julia Rendleman for The New York Times

Dear all,
One hundred year ago, suffragists - who were nearly all Republicans (including my Quaker ancestors) - were on the brink of winning the franchise. Soon thereafter, emboldened by their success with suffrage, Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman wrote the first Equal Rights Amendment which was introduced in Congress in 1923. Despite opposition from human rights stalwarts like Eleanor Roosevelt, support for a modern ERA grew through the 1960s & 1970s until it was a standard plank in party platforms of both the Republican and Democratic parties.
Representative Martha Griffiths - the first woman elected to Congress from Michigan - re-introduced the ERA in Congress in 1971 where it was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on October 12, 1971 and by the U.S. Senate on March 22, 1972.
After passage in Congress it was sent to the states for ratification which triggered an intense period of organizing led by Molly Yard, Ellie Smeal, Gloria Steinem and many others to ensure passage.

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