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Courtney Lamendola

Courtney Lamendola

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  • Report: Gender Equality in Egypt 2011-2022

    RepresentWomen is a research and action hub that promotes evidence-based solutions to improve women’s political representation and leadership in the United States and abroad. At RepresentWomen, we know that women’s representation in government strengthens the quality of democracy. We envision a future where women have equal opportunities to enter elected and appointed office. To achieve this goal, we work in partnership with researchers and practitioners around the world who are similarly invested in creating opportunities for women in government. 

    Our research on international women’s representation is centered around the role of rules and systems, and how they shape opportunities for women in politics. Through this research, we have learned that progress is being made toward gender-balanced governance in many parts of the world, but often requires time and deliberate effort. Between our international reports, regional briefs, and independent studies, our team seeks to identify and share the “best practices” for advancing women’s representation and leadership. 

    Gender Equality in Egypt 2011-2022 explores the progression of gender equality and women’s rights in Egypt over the last decade. Topics included in this report range from women-related national strategies in Egypt; amendments to  the Constitution; new laws and executive decisions; women’s political, economic and social empowerment; and a discussion of feminism, gender, and equality. 

    The objectives of this report are to: 1) analyze the elements that contributed to Egypt’s progress toward gender equality; 2) review Egypt’s latest efforts to improve gender equality and develop recommendations that the country can use to achieve gender balance; and 3) provide examples from other countries’ policies and plans on how to overcome the structural barriers that limit opportunities for women seeking positions in government.

    Download Report

  • Snapshot: Gender and Party in State Legislatures

    Women's representation in state legislatures has steadily grown over the last ten years, from 24% of all seats in 2013 to 33% in 2023. Though women's representation increased in both parties, the Democratic Party has made greater strides toward gender balance.

    Nearly half of all Democratic state legislators are women in 2023, up from 33% ten years ago. Meanwhile, just one-fifth of all Republican state legislators are women, up from 17% ten years ago. While the composition of the Democratic party has shifted over time to achieve gender balance, Republican men hold approximately the same share of power in 2023 that they did ten years ago. 

    Uneven efforts to recruit and retain women lead to uneven results. Progress toward gender balance in state legislatures will slow down unless the Republican Party adopts new strategies to source and support women in office. Refer to our 2023 snapshot on women in state legislatures to see the data and learn more. 

    Download Snapshot

  • Achieving Lasting Global Peace Requires Women’s Participation

    The impact of war is felt by all but disproportionately affects women and girls. In particular, the presence of armed conflict increases the prevalence of sexual violence, displacement, maternal mortality, mental health struggles, and reproductive health issues among women. 

    Read more
  • commented on Contact Us 2022-11-29 12:59:58 -0500

    Contact Us

    Want to know more about our Gender Parity Index and other research? Looking for more resources? Are you a community leader or elected official hoping to connect? Call us at (301) 270-4616 or let us know below. For media inquiries, please contact [email protected]

  • published Rania Boublal in Interns and Fellows 2022-10-17 15:07:10 -0400

    Rania Boublal-Volunteer Researcher

    Rania Boublal is a veterinary doctor who graduated from the Higher National Veterinary School in Algeria. She recently obtained her Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Project Management at the Higher National School of Management. In the fall of 2021, Rania joined the RepresentWomen team as a fellow through the Community Solutions Program (CSP) at IREX. Through this fellowship, Rania researched candidate training organizations in the United States with the hopes of running a similar program at home. In late 2022, Rania rejoined the RepresentWomen team as a volunteer researcher, and researches women's representation abroad. 

    Rania has more than five years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She currently serves as the General Secretary for "Algeunesse," a local association working on promoting youth and children's role in Algerian society. Rania is passionate about human and animal rights, gender equality, ending violence against women, peace and security, and political dialogue. Rania loves to read, color, swim, go on long walks, and watch movies for fun!

  • published Michelle Runco in Interns and Fellows 2022-09-23 14:04:57 -0400

    Michelle Runco - Research Intern

    Michelle Runco is a research intern who recently graduated from The George Washington University with a major in Political Science and minors in Law and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. She plans to continue her education in law school to study civil rights law and pursue a career in women’s rights legal work. With a strong passion for feminism and the advancement of women’s representation, Michelle is looking forward to putting her skills and knowledge to use at RepresentWomen to promote the advancement of research into gender parity in politics.

  • Dashboard: Ranked Choice Voting and Women's Representation in the U.S.

    In 2022, we released an interactive dashboard to present the latest data on women's representation in ranked choice cities. In addition to providing summary data on where ranked choice voting (RCV) is used and its impact on local representation, the RCV Dashboard includes updated case studies on the impact of ranked voting on women's representation in Cambridge, New York City, the Bay Area, and Utah.

    infogram_0_f45a9b75-7958-4bcd-b51b-adb30abd22e42022 RCV Dashboard

    Updated: January 2023


  • Report: The Twin-Track Ecosystem in the 100 Largest Cities

    Released: November 2022

    In 2022, we released a follow-up to our report on women's representation in New York City, “Why Women Won in 2021.” In the report, we expand upon and re-evaluate our findings by researching 1) women’s representation in the next-largest cities in the U.S., and 2) which of the factors we observed in NYC are also present in these cities. The report concludes with a list of guiding takeaways,  aimed at changemakers interested in bringing the best practices and strategies that worked in New York City to other major cities. 

    View the Report 

  • Peer-Reviewed Article: Election Reform & Women's Representation: Ranked Choice Voting in the U.S.

    Released: June 2021

    In 2021, we published an article in Politics and Governance on the history and impact of single- and multi-winner ranked choice voting on women’s representation in the U.S. In addition to revisiting some of the research from our 2016 and 2020 reports, this article allowed us to dig deeper into the available literature on ranked choice voting and identify knowledge gaps that should be addressed in future research. 

    Read Our 2021 Article

  • published Take Action in Day Three: March 10th 2022 2022-03-10 11:22:59 -0500

    Take Action



    RepresentWomen’s inaugural Solutions Summit brought together experts in the fields of voting rights, democracy reform, and election administration to advocate for meaningful, innovative solutions to the issues facing our democracy today. 

    Our inspiring panelists and speakers highlighted some of the many ways YOU can Take Action today to help upgrade our democracy into the 21st century! Check out recordings from each day along with the steps you can take.

    Day Three featured a discussion on expanding the House, Ranked Choice Voting, the Fair Representation Act, and ending gerrymandering as solutions to the crisis of unequal representation in our nation today.

    WATCH: Solutions Summit Day 3: Fair Representation | [click here to view the video on our Youtube channel or watch below]

    READ: the transcript here 

    Take Action Steps

    A plain text version of these Take Action resources is available.


    Use community gatherings and tabling events to invite attendees to "try out" Ranked Choice Voting.  For example, have folks fill out a ballot to choose their favorite snacks.  You can also host RCV polls for other "vote for your favorites" that relate to issues of concern in your community on your organizational websites and then post results. Share invitations for these on your social media.

    Advocate for an Independent Citizens Redistricting Process and contact the organization if you need help determining how.

    Attend a bi-monthly “Why Ranked-Choice Voting Works” workshop with FairVote Washington to learn the language around RCV and how to participate in our movement. Sign up by clicking the logo!

    Watch the DC Latino Caucus’ recording of their RCV and Preparing Latinx Communities for RCV in DC Panel Discussion.

    Check out RepresentWomen’s Women Win resources to learn more about Ranked Choice Voting, Multi-Winner Districts, and Expanding the House of Representatives.


    This is just the beginning! Check back for an in-depth Solutions Summit Take Action Resource Guide, coming soon.  




  • published Take Action in Day Two: March 9th 2022 2022-03-08 11:53:12 -0500

    Take Action



    RepresentWomen’s inaugural Solutions Summit brought together experts in the fields of voting rights, democracy reform, and election administration to advocate for meaningful, innovative solutions to the issues facing our democracy today. 

    Our inspiring panelists and speakers highlighted some of the many ways YOU can Take Action today to help upgrade our democracy into the 21st century! Check out recordings from each day along with the steps you can take.

    Day Two experts discussed the National Popular Vote, the reauthorization of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and addressing unique barriers that specific marginalized groups face (e.g., Native populations, young voters, non-native English speakers, etc.) as solutions to protect voting rights of all Americans.

    WATCH: Solutions Summit Day 2: Fair Access | [Click here to watch the video on our Youtube channel or watch below]

    READ: the transcript here

    Take Action Steps

    A plain text version of these Take Action resources is available.

    Write your state legislators asking them to support electing the President by National Popular Vote  

    Share AAPIs' experiences with voting and get the word out that the fight for voting rights includes and impacts our communities using APIAVote’s social media toolkit. Also, check your voter registration status here.

    Nominate a Native leader to run for office.

    Sign up to be an election protection monitor with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or your state's Election Protection Coalition! OR sign up to be a Poll Worker or Election Judge if you are able to!


    This is just the beginning! Check back for an in-depth Solutions Summit Take Action Resource Guide, coming soon. 



  • published Take Action in Day One: March 8th 2022 2022-03-08 11:52:45 -0500

    Take Action



    RepresentWomen’s inaugural Solutions Summit brought together experts in the fields of voting rights, democracy reform, and election administration to advocate for meaningful, innovative solutions to the issues facing our democracy today. 

    Our inspiring panelists and speakers highlighted some of the many ways YOU can Take Action today to reshape our democracy into one that works for us ALL! Check out recordings from each day along with the steps you can take.

    Day One was all about early voting, vote by mail, universal voter registration, and reforms in campaign finance to improve our elections and election administration. 

    WATCH: Solutions Summit Day 1: Fair Elections | [Click here to take you to the video on our Youtube channel or watch below]

    READ: the transcript here

    Take Action Steps

    A plain text version of these Take Action resources is available.


    Engage with disability rights organizations like the American Association of People with DisabilitiesNational Council on Independent Living, or National Disability Rights Network to learn more about voting access for people with disabilities. Click on the images to learn more!

    Stay informed on the Brennan Center for Justice’s work by signing up for their newsletter. Click on the image to sign up!

    Use Contact My Politician to take what you have learned about the national efforts to pass election reform and click the image to the right to voice your opinion to your congressional representatives and senators. They can take action at the national level to preserve the right to vote and ensure the proper funding of elections.


    Research when elections are held in your jurisdiction at, and vote in every single election - including local elections! ​Volunteer to assist your local elections office, either as a poll worker or in some other capacity. Click on the logos to learn how!


    This is just the beginning! Check back for an in-depth Solutions Summit Take Action Resource Guide, coming soon.

  • published Rina Shah in Meet the Speakers 2022-03-03 17:00:56 -0500

    Rina Shah

    Rina Shah Bharara is a strategic consultant, media commentator, & millennial entrepreneur based in Washington, DC. Prior to launching Rilax Strategies – a government and public affairs firm - Rina served as a senior staffer to Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-5) and Rep. Jeff B. Miller (FL-1).  Her expertise includes building winning strategies for political campaigns as well as coordinating public affairs efforts for Fortune 500 companies.

    She currently serves as an Advisor to VoteRunLead, Spokeswoman for NextGen GOP, a 2015 Founder of RightNOW Women PAC, Co-Chair of Concord 51's DC Chapter, and as an inaugural member of the U.S. House of Representatives Republican Conference's Indian American Advisory Council.

  • published Grace Ramsey in Meet the Speakers 2022-03-03 16:55:01 -0500

    Grace Ramsey

    Grace Ramsey is the Co-Director of Democracy Rising. Grace brings over 9 years of experience working on RCV advocacy and implementation campaigns across the country. She began her career as an organizer with FairVote Minnesota’s Rank Your Vote campaign, went on to become Deputy Director of Outreach at FairVote, and led voter education and organizing campaigns as a consultant with Democracy in Action. Over the course of several years and many campaigns she has come to deeply understand and appreciate the power of community organizing and has solidified her belief that a strong democracy is one that evolves to better serve the people.

  • published Roxy Szal in Meet the Speakers 2022-03-03 16:49:54 -0500

    Roxy Szal

    Roxy Szal is the digital editor at Ms. and a producer on the Ms. podcast "On the Issues With Michele Goodwin." Before becoming a journalist, she was a Texas public school English teacher. She is based in Austin, Texas.

  • published Ava Mateo in Meet the Speakers 2022-03-03 16:46:16 -0500

    Ava Mateo

    Ava Mateo (she/her) is the Executive Director of 18by Vote, a nonpartisan organization that helps 16, 17, and 18-year-olds understand how, when, and why to vote. She believes deeply in the power of youth and finds it her mission to spread opportunities for meaningful civic engagement among teens and young adults. At 18by Vote, Ava leads an entirely youth-led team in the development and execution of hyper-localized youth voter outreach programming. This programming supports paid youth participants in becoming catalysts for civic action within their own communities.

    With an immense passion for sustaining democracy through the American public school system, she is also an MA candidate at Columbia University, Teachers College studying Sociology and Education with a concentration in Education Policy. Her current research is focused on the influence of youth-led organizations and youth educational programs on youth participants’ socio-political identity development. Ava is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Class of 2020.

  • published Nicole Austin-Hillery in Meet the Speakers 2022-03-03 16:37:40 -0500

    Nicole Austin-Hillery

    Nicole Austin-Hillery is the US Program Executive Director for Human Rights Watch, leading efforts to end violations in the abusive US immigration system, tackle race discrimination and other rights problems with the domestic criminal justice system, and advocate for national security policies informed by international human rights standards. She is an adjunct civil rights professor at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. Additionally, she serves as an Advisor on Democracy & Voting Rights for the Millennial Policy Initiative Commission.

    Nicole Austin-Hillery was the first Director and Counsel of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law Washington DC Office. In her role, Ms. Austin-Hilleryoversaw the growth and development of the Brennan Center’s advocacy and policy development work in Washington. She served as the chief advocate for the Brennan Center on a host of justice and democracy issues and coordinates coalition work with other civil rights, social justice, and democracy organizations in Washington.

    Ms. Austin-Hillery has written opinion pieces for several publications including Roll Call, The Root, CNN, and, and has been a contributing writer to several advocacy publications. Notably, she recently authored a chapter in the American Bar Association’s 2016 volume of America Votes entitled “Voter ID as a Form of Voter Suppression.” She has testified before state and local legislative bodies as well as submitted testimony for Congressional hearings and serves as a frequent speaker on a host of public interest issues.

    Ms. Austin-Hillery is a graduate of the Howard University School of Law and Carnegie Mellon University. She practiced with the law firm Mehri &Skalet, PLLC as part of the firm’s civil rights employment class action practice, and as the George N. Lindsay Civil Rights Law Fellow at the national office of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where she focused on housing litigation and policy. She is also a former Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School. 

     Ms. Austin-Hillery currently serves on the boards of directors of Common Cause and the Washington Council of Lawyers, and is President-Elect of the Washington Bar Association. She is an appointed member of the ABA Advisory Committee on Election Law and serves as co-chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Defense Function Committee.

  • published Anita Earls in Meet the Speakers 2022-03-03 16:28:08 -0500

    Anita Earls

    Justice Anita Earls is a civil rights attorney and Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Anita Sue Earls was born in Seattle, Washington on February 20, 1960, and raised there by her father, Garnett Austin Brooks, and her mother, Hazel Elliott Brooks, both deceased. Her father was a certified urology associate and her mother was a registered nurse. Anita attended public schools and was awarded a National Achievement Scholarship upon graduation from high school.

    Anita received a Lehman Scholarship from Williams College, where, in 1981, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Economy (with honors) and Philosophy. 

    Upon graduating, Anita was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to pursue the study of cooperative work organizations and the role of women in Tanzania. Returning to the United States after three years abroad, Anita obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was a Senior Editor on the Yale Law Journal and published a note titled “Petitioning and the Empowerment Theory of Practice”. She was the first Robert Masur Fellow in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Nation Institute in 1987.

    Following law school, in January 1988 Anita joined the firm of Ferguson, Stein, Watt, Wallas, Adkins & Gresham in Charlotte, North Carolina.  In private practice, she litigated in state and federal courts, handing family law, criminal defense, personal injury, voting rights, police misconduct, school desegregation, and employment discrimination cases. 

    Anita was appointed by President Clinton in 1998 to serve as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. From 2000 to 2003, she directed the Voting Rights Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  Returning to North Carolina in 2003, she joined Julius Chambers at the UNC Center for Civil Rights as Director of Advocacy.

    In 2007 Anita founded the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a non-profit legal advocacy organization, and served as its Executive Director for ten years.  While there Anita litigated voting rights and other civil rights cases.  

    Anita has taught at the University of Maryland and the University of North Carolina law schools, and in the African and African-American Studies Department at Duke University.  She is admitted to practice in North Carolina, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • published Onida Coward Mayers in Meet the Speakers 2022-03-03 16:16:54 -0500

    Onida Coward Mayers

    Onida Coward Mayers is Vice President of the MiRam group, the former Director for New York City’s Voter Assistance at the Campaign Finance Board, and an award-winning communications executive. For the past 10+ years, Ms. Coward Mayers directed strategic voter outreach, policy, and vision planning for one of the largest voting populations in the United States. In her capacity at the CFB, Ms. Coward Mayers led the launch of the nonpartisan NYC Votes Program aimed at increasing voter awareness, education, and participation. In 2013, she led New York City to place second in the United States for the highest number of people registered in a single day. Ms. Coward Mayers is also an Adjunct Professor of Public Speaking for the City University of New York.

  • published Maggie Toulouse OIiver in Meet the Speakers 2022-03-03 14:24:49 -0500

    Maggie Toulouse OIiver

    Maggie Toulouse Oliver is New Mexico’s 26th Secretary of State. She has served the people of New Mexico in this role since first being elected in 2016. She was first appointed to public office in 2007 when she became County Clerk in New Mexico’s largest county, Bernalillo County. Elected to her first full term in 2008, Secretary Toulouse Oliver served 2 1/2 terms as County Clerk. Overseeing elections in the state’s largest county gave Secretary Toulouse Oliver detailed, on-the-ground expertise in election administration that has helped to guide her current work overseeing elections statewide.

    Secretary Toulouse Oliver has been involved in politics and public policy for over two decades and has made public service the focus of her career. Her work has focused on increasing voter access, running efficient, secure, and fair elections, and bringing more transparency and increased ethical standards to the government.

    Secretary Toulouse Oliver worked her way through college and graduate school. While earning her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Political Science from the University of New Mexico, Secretary Toulouse Oliver worked for U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman in his DC Office and on his re-election campaign in 2000. She also gained activism and organizing experience working with Native American tribes in New Mexico, fighting for reproductive justice, and protecting the Environment as the NM State Director for the League of Conservation Voters.

    Since becoming Secretary of State she has implemented increased transparency rules for financial disclosure and campaign finance reporting, modernized the online campaign finance system, helped craft and pass good-government legislation like same-day voter registration, automated voter registration, and the state’s newly-formed Ethics Commission.

    In addition to her elected position, Secretary Toulouse Oliver is the immediate Past President of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and has previously served NASS as President, President-Elect, Treasurer, and chair of the elections committee. She serves as a board member of New Mexico’s Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), the New Mexico Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, and the state Commission on Records and Archives. She is currently a member of the University of Southern California Annenberg Center’s Voter Communication task force, and an advisory board member for the Election Official Legal Defense Network co-founded by national election law experts Benjamin Ginsburg and Bob Bauer.

    She is also a Ph.D. Student in Political Science at the University of New Mexico and is a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellowship alumna. Most importantly, she is the proud mother of two sons, Christian and Max.