Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 22, 2021

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on January 22, 2021


Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayer swearing in Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday at the Capitol
Dear friends,
This week's inauguration of a new administration was at once a testimony to the power of our democratic traditions and an embrace of new voices & diverse leadership. According to this piece by columnist Monica Hesse in The Washington Post, American democracy has finally passed the Bechdel test with Justice Sonia Sotomayer swearing in our nation's first woman vice president, Kamala Harris:

The promise of a Joe Biden presidency was a return to normalcy, but 62 seconds of Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony were quietly revolutionary. Not the soar of Amanda Gorman’s poem, or the thunderous power of Lady Gaga using a golden microphone to belt the national anthem. In a ceremony filled with artistic creations specifically designed to arouse emotions of patriotism and pride, the 62 seconds that did so most effectively were from a bland, scripted oath of office, administered with the same exchange of words for more than a hundred years. But never between two women.

“Please raise your right hand and repeat after me,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor instructed soon-to-be Vice President Kamala D. Harris. And Harris did.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 15, 2021

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on January 15, 2021


Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (L) delivers remarks after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden (R) announced her as his Commerce Secretary nominee at The Queen theater on January 08, 2021 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Dear friends,
Next week, Kamala Harris will become the first woman in our nation's history to take the oath of office to serve as vice president of these United States. The leadership team that she and president-elect Joe Biden have assembled is the most diverse in history. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate the new cabinet will be majority people of color and gender balanced, according to this story on CNN.com:

President-elect Joe Biden on Friday introduced key nominees for his economic and jobs team, including Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo for commerce secretary and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for labor secretary.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 8, 2021

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on January 08, 2021


Senate staffers carrying certified presidential results to safety in the Capitol on Wednesday
Dear women's representation advocates,
While we don't yet know the short-term consequences of Wednesday's rampage on the Capitol we do know a few things: women Senate staffers had the presence of mind to grab the mahogany boxes containing certified presidential results from the states & carry them to safety, the police and others assigned to protect our elected representatives & our democratic process failed to do so, and the polarization caused by our winner take all politics is dangerous.
Individuals must be held accountable for their actions, but we must also redesign the institutions that drive the animus that has become commonplace and reached an apex on Wednesday.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation December 30, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on December 30, 2020


The amazing young women who are pictured above were part of the RepresentWomen team in 2020!
Dear friends and allies,
On this penultimate day of 2020 I am writing to ask you to consider supporting RepresentWomen with a donation of any size so that we can build our capacity to make serious and sustained progress toward gender balance in politics in the coming decade.
As you know, our work is focused on identifying the structural barriers that women face as candidates and elected officials and then turning that research into policies that address those barriers so that more women can run, win, serve, and lead.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation December 24, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on December 24, 2020


My dear friends,
As I look back on 2020 I am mindful of the many challenges we faced as individuals, families, communities, Americans. and global citizens. We will remember those challenges but we will also remember 2020 as the year we celebrated the centennial of suffrage, the year we elected the first woman & woman of color to the vice presidency, and the year we sowed new seeds of progress toward gender balance in politics. 
I'll share just a few highlights from the last week!

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation December 18, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on December 18, 2020


I had the pleasure of working with the amazing young women pictured above who were part of the RepresentWomen team in 2020!
Dear friend,
I am writing to report on what the RepresentWomen team accomplished in 2020 and to ask that you consider supporting our work in 2021 to lay the groundwork for serious and sustained progress toward gender balance in politics in the coming decade.

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Money Talks: It is Time to Pay for Parity

By Maura Reilly on December 17, 2020

This week, Anne Hidalgo, the second-term Mayor of Paris, made history becoming the first French official fined for appointing too many women to management positions within the city administration. In 2018, Hidalgo named eleven women and five men to senior level positions within her administration; with women holding 69% of the positions, Hidalgo failed to adhere to the 2013 national law requiring no single gender make up more than 60% of senior officials.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation December 11, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on December 14, 2020


Our friends at the Center for American Women and Politics released a new report this week on the challenges women face raising money to run for governor:

Giving money to politics has not been a regular part of women’s political repertoire. This means that women may have a reduced ability to elect the candidates of their choice and that they are less likely to see their views represented in public policy. 
Gender as a category, in interaction with race and class, has structured opportunities for educational attainment, access to occupation and income, and family responsibilities throughout U.S. history. On average, women earn less and are less wealthy than men. As a result, women lag behind men in the personal resources that can fuel their political participation.3 Resource disparities are particularly acute for women of color, who are usually disadvantaged by their location at the intersection of gender, race, and class inequalities.

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It's time, the U.S. must take active steps toward gender parity

By RepresentWomen by on December 11, 2020

By Alise Blūma and Kaycie Goral

The United States is failing women:

  1. As of October 2020, the United States ranked 87th out of 193 countries in women's representation. Twenty years ago, we ranked 48th. 
  2. As of January,  women will make up less than one-third of the U.S. Congress
  3. And at our current rate of improvement, estimates suggest it will be more than a century before gender parity among our elected officials is achieved.

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