When I signed up for “Theories of International Relations” last year, I never expected to learn as much about feminism as I did. And yet, while sitting in my first class, I was introduced to the works of J. Ann Tickner – a feminist IR theorist who argues that omitting women from political theory leads to women being omitted from political practice. Through that class, I learned that there are structural causes for the underrepresentation of women in politics, and that this is evident not only in the makeup of our leaders, but also in how our future leaders are being taught.
Studying Tickner motivated me to learn more about what can be done to remove the barriers that prevent women from being elected into office. Because representation matters. Whether it’s a name on a book or a ballot, representation encourages participation – and I strongly believe that it is necessary to create more opportunities for women to be representatives in this country. What I did not anticipate, was how quickly I would find this opportunity.
Hi, my name is Courtney Lamendola, I am a second-year graduate student at Johns Hopkins University-School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and I’m from Holbrook, New York. This fall I am excited to learn more about what the team at RepresentWomen is doing to reach gender parity in the United States. As a student of International Relations, I am additionally interested in seeing where there is overlap between the policies we promote here and those which are being implemented abroad.
After completing my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Providence College, I decided to study International Relations at John Hopkins-SAIS because I was interested in seeing how different countries handle the same issues we face here in the United States. Whether it’s through their setbacks or success stories, I strongly believe that there is always something that can be learned from the work that is being done in different parts of the world when there are so many people working towards the same goal.
As someone who is always eager to learn and share new information, I am looking forward to seeing what I can do as a Research Intern for RepresentWomen this fall to coordinate these interests while working towards gender parity and helping more women to serve and lead in the United States.