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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 27, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on July 27, 2018

Ennahda Souad Abderrahim in Tunisia
Dear all,
There was a fascinating article in the Middle East Eye about how Islamist parties are advancing women's rights:

Contrary to prominent views in the West and among secular liberal groups about women in Islamist movements being submissive to a male-dominated hierarchy, there has been an increase in women's participation and role in these movements.

In Egypt, more women have been participating in the Muslim Brotherhood's political activities. This month, In the Tunisian capital, Tunis, Souad Abderrahim became the first woman elected mayor.

Abderrahim, a 53-year-old pharmaceutical company head, is a leading figure in Ennahda, a traditionally conservative party describing itself as "Muslim democrats". She has often been portrayed as a symbol of the party's openness and embrace of modern values, and her nomination challenged stereotypes about the differing opinions on women held by Islamists and secularists.

While Ennahda supported Abderrahim's candidacy, Foued Bousslama, a member of the "secular and modern" Nidaa Tounes party called it "unacceptable" because she would be unable to attend a mosque during Ramadan.

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#WomenToWatch on August 7

By barbara turnbull by on July 27, 2018

#WomenToWatch is a series by RepresentWomen that documents rising women leaders and their stories.

Primary season resumes in early August, when voters in Tennessee, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, and Washington will pick their candidates for the 2018 midterm elections.


There are dozens of accomplished and passionate women running in these five states’ primaries, and it was difficult to choose just one woman to spotlight this week as part of #WomenToWatch. Brenda Jones, House candidate for Michigan’s 13th district, stands out because of her 13 years of service and leadership on Detroit’s City Council. Currently, Jones is serving her second term as the council’s president. She describes her Congressional platform as “JONES: Jobs, Opportunities, Neighborhoods, Education, and Safety”, and says these have been her priorities since her first term on the city council.

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Introducing the Balanced Bench Project: Examining Representation in the State Judiciary

By Katie Pruitt by on July 26, 2018

President Donald Trump just nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace outgoing Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.  Soon after, CNN ran an article citing a statistic that, if confirmed, Kavanaugh will be the 108th white man to serve on the Supreme Court (he would be only the 114th justice to ever serve). By contrast, the Census Bureau estimates that in 2017, only 30.8% of the U.S. population were white men. Several news outlets shared this statistic to emphasize the vast underrepresentation of people of color and women on the Supreme Court.

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Primary Recap: Georgia

By Barbara Turnbull by on July 25, 2018


Georgia voters returned to the polls for a primary runoff election yesterday, following up on three races from the May primary in which no candidate garnered a majority of the vote.


Yesterday’s most high-profile contest was a two-man race for Republican gubernatorial nominee. Brian Kemp, Georgia Secretary of State, beat opponent Casey Cagle by nearly 20 points. In November, Kemp will face Democrat Stacey Abrams, a state representative whose candidacy, if successful, would be historic:  Abrams would become Georgia’s first Black governor, Georgia’s first woman governor, and the first Black woman governor anywhere, ever.

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#WomenToWatch on August 2

By Katie Pruitt by on July 20, 2018

Beth Harwell has shattered several glass ceilings in her lifetime. In 2001, she became the first-ever chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party. In 2011, after serving in the Tennessee House of Representatives for more than two decades, her colleagues chose her to become the first female speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. On Thursday, August 2nd, she’s running in the Republican gubernatorial primary to become the first female major party nominee and the first female governor of Tennessee.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 19, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on July 19, 2018


Every generation has had to wrestle with questions of identity, power and equality - within the family, within religious practice & belief, and within decision making bodies and society at large. Today, however, marks 170 years since the launch of the 'modern' movement for women's rights that brought Quaker, republican, abolitionists and others together to birth a campaign for suffrage and equality. I myself am descended from a long line of Quaker agitators and champions of equality and, lucky for me, I married a man who claims the same heritage. Our generation's call for equality & representation is enriched by those who toiled on those hot summer days in Seneca Falls, NY, 170 years ago.

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The US Women’s Rights Movement Launched in Seneca Falls, NY

By Evelien van Gelderen by on July 19, 2018


Photo: Bettmann via Getty Images

The women's’ rights movement in the United States was launched 170 ago at the first American woman’s rights convention, a prominent two-day event at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, N.Y. The convention’s organizers were all Quakers, with the exception of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton had met another main organizer, Lucretia Mott, at the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention, where they were told that women were not allowed to speak or vote and had to sit in a roped-off gallery.

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2018 Primary Recap: Alabama

By barbara turnbull by on July 18, 2018


Yesterday’s primary runoff elections in Alabama decided the closely-watched Republican nomination for AL-2, as well as a handful of statewide executive offices and state legislature seats. Even though runoff elections are costly and inefficient, the vast majority of cities and states continue to rely on runoffs to determine the result of primaries in which no candidate garnered more than 50 percent of the vote.

Just 12.7 percent of registered Alabama voters cast a ballot yesterday, which is especially dismal considering how much time and money was spent on campaigning since the initial primary election on June 5.


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Failing Up: Reflections on Running Start's Resilience Summit

By Katie Pruitt by on July 18, 2018

Katherine Baird speaking at the Resilience Summit

Katherine Baird looks put together. She’s the minister of congressional, public and governmental affairs at the Canadian Embassy. She stands tall, shoulders back and eyes ahead. Last Thursday, she addressed a room of over fifty high-achieving young women: “I am failing right now,” she said.

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What's the Deal with Runoff Elections?

By barbara turnbull by on July 17, 2018


The 2018 primaries have hit a bit of a lull this July. From April to June of this year, 31 states and the District of Columbia voted in primary elections to choose their candidates for the November midterm elections. The next statewide party primaries aren’t until the first week of August when Tennessee and Michigan cast their ballots.


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