Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 7, 2021

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on May 07, 2021

Asian American women leaders Rep Patsy Mink, Tina Tchen, Katherine Tai, & former Oakland mayor Jean Quan - painted by Melanie Humble
Dear friends,
It's Asian Pacific American Heritage month in the United States which is a great opportunity to celebrate women leaders Patsy Mink, Tina Tchen, Katherine Tai, Jean Quan among many others. I am so grateful to be serving on the ReflectUS board with Madalene Mielke - CEO of APAICS, which is preparing a generation of new young Asian American leaders to run for office.
Tragically, the increase in attacks on Asian & Pacific Americans over the last year has led many to feel unsafe in their communities according to this article in The 19th* by Alexa Mikhail and Mariel Padilla:

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Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

By Cameryn Chan on May 04, 2021

Dear Friends,

It’s time to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Month! But first, let’s take a look at what it means to be “Asian American”.


“Asian-American” is an expansive term, one that groups a variety of ethnicities into a single grouping. Unfortunately, many have come to associate this term only with people of East Asian descent (eg. Chinese, Korean, Japanese). In reality, the community also includes those who hail from places like India, Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan, and Cambodia. That is why when Asian-American Pacific Islander month is celebrated, we are celebrating an incredibly diverse group of people.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 30, 2021

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 30, 2021

Vice president Harris & speaker Pelosi on the dais, painted by Melanie Humble
Dear friends,
For the first time in our nation's history two women stood on the dais in the Capitol last night as leaders in the executive and legislative branches of government as this story in USA Today reports: 

For the first time in history, two women sat behind a president during an address to a joint session of Congress.

The historic image during Joe Biden's speech Wednesday is 245 years in the making since the nation's founding.

"Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President," Biden said as he took the podium. "No president has ever said those words from this podium and it's about time."

For the first time, both of those positions are now held by women: Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

American presidents are flanked by the speaker of the House and the vice president during such high-profile speeches, each sitting behind and on either side of the commander in chief during the prime time address.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 23, 2021

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 23, 2021

Rachel Carson, painted by Melanie Humble on a Suffrage palette background

"We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth."   Rachel Carson

Dear women's representation enthusiasts,
Rachel Carson's seminal work Silent Spring, which was published in 1962, had a profound and enduring impact on the movement to protect the natural world from pesticides and a changing climate. In 2012 Eliza Griswold wrote a fascinating article about Carson's life and work in The New York Times:

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From a Tool to a Barrier: How Language Impacts Political Engagement

By Alexis Shaw on April 21, 2021

As a part of our mission at RepresentWomen, we want to actively break down barriers that prevent all women from running, winning, serving, and leading. Through our research, we have found that language barriers are in place, preventing women who want to serve from accessing pertinent voting information, as well as connections to organizations like us who can help them run. Lack of access to this information is a significant issue in getting women to start their political careers. This type of structural barrier affects women for whom English is not their first language. Language accessibility is also an issue at the voting booths for non-native English speakers who wish to cast their ballots easily and accurately but are faced with language barriers and difficulties.

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Meet the Team: Karen

By RepresentWomen on April 20, 2021

My name is Karen Stout and I am a sixth-generation Californian from Los Angeles. I am a senior at U.C. Santa Cruz pursuing a B.A. in Legal Studies and I am excited to be a RepresentWomen intern this spring!

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 16, 2021

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 16, 2021


Dear friends,
It would be such a grand thing to invite you all to my garden, to talk about world events, share a glass of rose & some fresh asparagus, and fortify ourselves for the work ahead. So many stories in the news and in our everyday lives revolve around power - the power we have, the lack of power that so many experience, and the untapped power that we must find to build a future where power is shared and is grounded in justice and equality. As if on cue, the Council of Foreign Relations released their updated Women's Power Index this week and, according to their metrics, women's power has increased in countries including the United States, Belgium, and Lithuania and twenty two countries now have a woman head of state (as was true in 2019) but overall women's power has grown very little:

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Egyptian women are to be hired in the Egyptian Council of State and Public Prosecution for the first time.

By RepresentWomen on April 07, 2021

By Fatma Tawfik 

On International Women’s Day, President Sisi ordered the Ministry of Justice to hire women in the Egyptian council of state and the public prosecution for the first time in history.

The minister of justice Omar Marawan responded to the presidential initiative, stating: “President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi's directions for the work of women in the State Council and the Public Prosecution came as a gift to women and complete their constitutional rights in the judicial authorities, explaining that the woman works across all judicial bodies and only those two positions were the exception until now” 

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Could Ranked Choice Voting Solve the Two-Party Loop in Puerto Rico?

By RepresentWomen on March 30, 2021

By Angie Gomez

Since the first local elections in 1948, politics in Puerto Rico have long been defined by two political parties, the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) and the New Progressive Party (PNP), with smaller, third parties being largely locked out of leadership positions. In total, 13 governors have led the island, and all have come from either the PPD or PNP. Six governors have been elected from the PPD, including the first woman to hold the position, Sila María Calderón. From the PNP, six have also been elected but after former governor Ricardo Rosselló resigned in 2019, Wanda Vázquez assumed the office and became the first woman governor from the PNP. 

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