Meet the Team: Corinne Ahrens

By Corinne Ahrens on September 24, 2019

"Working for RepresentWomen is important to me because their mission is concrete: increase the representation of women in politics while focusing on systems of reform; because no one can say, even though some may, that the underrepresentation of women in politics does not exist."

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 20, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 20, 2019


Dear friends,
I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous day here in NYC and walk through Central Park so this week's Weekend Reading update will be a photo essay crafted on a bench in the park!
This article by Jill Filipovic in Politico Magazine offers some very good questions about the merits and enforcement of gender quotas in Rwanda, here is the conclusion:

What can Rwanda’s experiment with gender quotas teach the United States? It’s clear that quotas, if enforced, increase women’s political power at least to some degree, and the symbolic value of women in power can have trickle-down effects. While Americans might bristle at a constitutional mandate, political parties could adopt voluntary quotas, pledging that a certain percentage of the candidates they run will be women. That would be easier for Democrats than Republicans: There are twice as many female Democratic senators as Republican, and nearly seven times as many Democratic congresswomen as Republican. Still, neither party is at parity, let alone even approaching Rwanda’s numbers.

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 13, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 13, 2019


Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Chase Smith on CBS News in 1956
My dear friends,
This week's democratic debate reminded me of one of my favorite largely-untold stories from American history. It was two women, Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Chase Smith, who appeared in very first televised presidential debate in the United States. Eleanor was of course an accomplished diplomat and high-profile democrat while Margaret was a long-serving republican member of Congress from Maine. I love everything about this story except that it isn't told enough!

Read more

Meet the Team: Maura Reilly

By Maura Reilly on September 09, 2019

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat”  -Rebecca West, author

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 6, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 06, 2019


Women in the northeastern state of Assam in India
Hello friends!
Geetika Dang wrote a terrific piece on for Brookings on several papers that were presented at an event on July on women's political representation in India - I suggest reading her full piece but here is a teaser:
The authors estimate that the introduction of quotas for women in parliament, results in a 9% to 12% decline in maternal mortality. For lower MMR we require trained birth assistance, pre-natal care, and lower teenage pregnancies. As soon as gender quotas are implemented, the authors find a structural break in the following indicators:
  1. Increase in skilled birth attendance (8% to 10%)
  2. Increase in pre-natal care utilisation (6% to11%)
  3. Decline in birth rate
  4. Increase in girls’ education

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 30, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on August 30, 2019


Happy Women's Equality Day week!
Many thanks to Patti Russo for sharing this terrific image on Facebook this week in celebration of the 99th anniversary of women's suffrage - I would love to know who created it to credit their work properly!

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 23, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on August 23, 2019


(Suffragists protest outside the White House in Washington, DC circa 1919)
Happy women's equality week my friends,
As most of you in the U.S. know, this week marks the 99th anniversary of the day when voting rights for women became part of the U.S. Constitution - while there are a number of excellent historical sources that document this milestone, I found this one from Arizona State University especially interesting:

After 304 votes in the House of Representatives, 56 votes in the Senate, 36 state endorsements and one more declaration to put it into effect, the 19th Amendment — the proclamation that gave American female citizens the right to vote in all elections — took its place in the U.S. Constitution on Aug. 26, 1920 — 99 years ago.

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 16, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on August 16, 2019


(From East Asia Forum)
Hello friends!
This will be a super short rendition as there isn't a whole lot of news to report that I can find easily and my now-adult children are all home this weekend and a few of them are cooking dinner tonight so I am due at home!
But here are a couple stories to keep you company over Saturday morning tea or coffee!
There was a fascinating story from the East Asia Forum on the move toward gender quotas for pacific island nations - I long for this sort of sophisticated conversations about gender targets for recruitment and donations in the US:

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 9, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on August 09, 2019


“The enemy is not men. The enemy is the concept of patriarchy, the concept of patriarchy as the way to run the world or do things.”   Toni Morrison
Hello friends,
As I am certain you all know, the noted American author Toni Morrison died this week at the age of 88. The New York Times wrote about her life and work:

Toni Morrison, the Nobel laureate in literature whose best-selling work explored black identity in America — and in particular the often crushing experience of black women — through luminous, incantatory prose resembling that of no other writer in English, died on Monday in the Bronx. She was 88.

Her death, at Montefiore Medical Center, was announced by her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. A spokeswoman said the cause was complications of pneumonia. Ms. Morrison lived in Grand View-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Read more

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 2, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on August 02, 2019


Nakuru County Chief office in charge of Gender, Culture and Social Services, Tume Abduba speaking at Regina Pacis Elimu School on July 4, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
Dear friends and allies,
The first article to catch my eye this week was this very interesting one in the Daily Nation about the opportunities and challenges of using gender quotas to advance women's representation in Kenya - the students in the accompanying photo (above) are so clear-eyed and beautiful I thought they'd be a good talisman for us:
Gender quotas have for long been used as a vehicle to ensure women’s representation in politics. In Kenya, gender quotas were introduced by the 2010 Constitution. Although there is a considerable number of women in politics as a result, the two-thirds gender rule as stipulated in the Constitution is yet to be implemented.

Read more