Only One State in US is Suceeding at Gender Parity. Here's How to Change That

Jezebel.com. Posted by Prachi Gupta on May 09, 2017

A new report has found that nearly every state in the U.S. is failing when it comes to electing women to local, state and federal legislatures, and suggests our nation will continue to fall short of gender parity for generations to come unless lawmakers embrace major reforms to the voting system. The 2017 Gender Parity Index Report, recently released by Representation2020 (an initiative of nonpartisan electoral reform organization FairVote), offers the first comprehensive assessment of female representation at the local, state, and federal levels in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Women make up more than half the population and turn out to vote in significantly higher numbers than men. Yet, nearly a century after women earned the right to vote, women are notably less than halfway to equal representation in public office. The number of women in Congress and in state legislatures has stalled since the early 1990s. At that rate, women in Congress will not achieve gender parity until next century, and women in state legislatures will not have equal representation until after the year 3126.

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Voting Rules Pose Barrier for Women

Voting Rules Pose Barrier for Women. Posted by Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 08, 2017

April marks a memorable centennial. On April 2, 1917, Jeannette Rankin, R-Montana, was sworn in as the first woman ever elected to Congress. Her election not only marked a milestone in the struggle for women’s political equality but provides a lesson about the importance of fair voting rules. Women today are a majority of voters, but progress toward political parity is virtually stagnant. Fewer than one in five House members are women, only four governors are women, and women’s share of state legislative seats has never reached even 25 percent. The United States now ranks 104th among nations for representation of women in national legislatures — a steep decline from 44th in 1995. At this rate, parity is at best centuries away. Why so little progress? There are several reasons, including cultural attitudes and bias. But a there’s an oft-overlooked barrier: our voting rules.

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We Need to Elect More Women

Detroit News. Posted by Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 04, 2017

Women today are a majority of voters, but progress toward political parity is virtually stagnant. Fewer than 1 in 5 House members are women, only four governors are women, and women’s share of state legislative seats has never reached even 25 percent. The United States now ranks 104th among nations for representation of women in national legislatures — a steep decline from 44th in 1995. At this rate, parity is at best centuries away. Why so little progress? There are several reasons, including cultural attitudes and bias. But a there’s an oft-overlooked barrier: our voting rules. When Rankin broke through the representation barrier, Montana elected two House seats statewide rather than in separate districts. 1916 was a tough year for Republicans in Montana, with Democratic presidential nominee Woodrow Wilson easily winning the state. But Rankin won by finishing second. A year later the legislature carved the state into districts, gerrymandering Rankin into a more Democratic one. She unsuccessfully sought a Senate seat.

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Are Voting Rules Keeping Women Out Of Congress?

Inter Lake News. Posted by Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 03, 2017

April marks a memorable centennial. On April 2, 1917, Jeannette Rankin, R-Montana, was sworn in as the first woman ever elected to Congress. Her election not only marked a milestone in the struggle for women’s political equality but provides a lesson about the importance of fair voting rules.

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Happy Centennial Jeanette Rankin

Huffington Post. Posted by Steven Hill on April 02, 2017

Most Americans don’t realize it, but yesterday, April 2 the US quietly celebrated the centennial of an event that is as auspicious as Martin Luther King’s birthday or July 4, Independence Day. On April 2, 1917, Jeannette Rankin from Montana was sworn in as the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress. Her election occurred three years before women won the right to vote. For advocates of greater political equality, Representative Rankin’s election was a giant step forward toward the revolution that became the 20th Amendment to the US Constitution.

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How Women Can Become More Politically Engaged

The Girl Power Code. Posted by Cynthia Richie Terrell on March 27, 2017

The idea for this panel came after the presidential election last year when many women felt a call to action. We had a fabulous roster of speakers including, Erin Villardi, founder and director of VoteRunLead; Rina Shah, political strategist and media commentator; Cynthia Richie Terrell, founder and director of Representation20/20 and co-founder of FairVote; and Tremaine S. Wright, a New York State Assemblywoman serving the 56th District in Brooklyn, NY.

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SXSW Panel: Women's Representation - Five Steps to Gender Parity

Mary Tuma Austin Chronicle. Posted by Cynthia Richie Terrell on March 11, 2017

Privy to a recent conversation among high-level Democratic donors following Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential loss, former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis couldn’t help but feel shocked.

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Why Connecticut should consider ranked choice voting

CT Mirror. Posted by Brittany Stalsburg on December 22, 2016

While voters and political pundits alike are still hashing out what exactly happened on November 8, there is one conclusion about the election that most cannot deny: many voters felt they didn’t have adequate choices.

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Maine Voices: A plan for how women can be represented

The Portland Press Herald. Posted by Cynthia Richie Terrell on December 11, 2016

While more women of color were just elected to the U.S. House and Senate than ever before, the overall number of women in Congress remains the same, the number of women governors dropped to just five and women’s share of state legislative seats is still under 25 percent. The United States now ranks 99th among nations for the representation of women, a steep decline from 44th in 1995.

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