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Minter Likely Loses Vermont Governor Race

By Kelsey Kober on November 08, 2016


It’s widely acknowledged that women are vastly underrepresented in politics, despite making up over half of the electorate. Nowhere is this gap more profound than in the governor’s mansion; currently, women make up a pitiful 12% of gubernatorial offices. Vermont gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter (D) came close to shutting this gap, but appears, on early results, to have been defeated by current lieutenant governor Phill Scott (R) on Tuesday night, in the safe Democratic state.


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It's Time for New Strategies to Elect More Women & Win Gender Parity

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on November 08, 2016


The nation may wake up tomorrow to its first woman president and a record number of women Senators, but down ballot, the news is not good for women in elected office. At least 44 governors will be men next year, and the U.S rank among all nations for the representation of women has declined from 44th in 1995 to 96th in 2016. To win gender parity, intentional action and structural changes are necessary at every level of government.

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What Election Night 2016 Holds in Store for Women Candidates

By Kelsey Kober on November 08, 2016


Much fanfare has been made about the possibility of electing a woman President of the United States this Election Day. But beyond this could-be monumental event, our nation still has much work to do for improving the election of women. The United States lags behind many other nations in women’s representation, coming in at a dismal 96th place. Moreover, most U.S. states are a long way from achieving gender parity in their congressional delegations, state executive offices, state legislatures and local offices. The 2016 elections present an opportunity to make incremental improvements in the dismal state of representation of American women in elected office at all levels of government.

Here’s what to look out for on Tuesday night:



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As the 2016 Election Approaches, Gender Parity Remains Elusive

By Kelsey Kober on November 04, 2016


Representation2020, a project of FairVote, has just released its pre-election Gender Parity Index. It shows that on the eve of election 2016, in which we might elect our first female president, 49 of 50 states remain a long, long way from gender parity in elected office. Women constitute just 19% of Congress, 24% of state legislatures, 19% of mayors in our 100 largest cities, and a miniscule 12% of governorships across the country.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation November 4, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on November 04, 2016



Only a few days to go in an election that has torn the scabs off the wound that is our electoral system. Regardless of the results up and down the ballot on Tuesday the Pandora's Box of electoral dysfunction is now wide open and the moment is ours to fix systems - be they cultural, political, professional, or electoral - that disadvantage women candidates.

The complexity of the problem must inform our collective work - there is no one reason that the United States ranks behind 95 nations in the representation of women. Nor is there one solution.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation October 28, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on October 28, 2016


Dear friends,

I'll start with a brief election update though many of you who are on the ground in states may have a better sense of how state and federal races are unfolding.

The race for president has been anything but predictable but Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight election forecast projects that Hillary Clinton has an 81.2% chance of winning. Regardless of your political perspective I think we can agree that it will be a relief when this campaign comes to an end.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation October 21, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on October 21, 2016


Finally, a reason to post a photo from the Trevi Fountain in Rome which graces this story from the London School of Economics and Political Science on how gender quotas are being used with success to diversify corporate boards in Italy:

Overall our results support the idea that not only gender quotas contribute to women’s empowerment, they may also encourage a better selection mechanism through the entry of qualified women. In countries such as Italy, dominated by a male gerontocracy, where boards of directors were not necessarily populated by the most competent and most qualified people for the job (Bianco et al., 2015), the introduction of gender quotas induces a beneficial restructuring of the boards, which is positively received by the market.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation October 14, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on October 14, 2016


Dear all,

Some food for thought to distract us from the madness of this election season...

The Christian Science Monitor had a very interesting piece entitled How Women Lead Differently - a subject that I suspect will be getting more attention in the coming months. The topic always gives me pause, while it may be that women and men do have different leadership strengths I resist the trend toward thinking that it's (finally) time to elect women because they have special problem solving skills. Lots more could be said on this - particularly in the context of this election season.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation October 7, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on October 07, 2016


Photo from a piece by Ashley Parker from Glamour that reviews some of the women who are shaping the 2016 election.

Dear friends,

Sophia Tesfaye had a piece in Salon on the challenges republican women face running for and getting elected to Congress:

For more than a decade, the number of Republican women in Congress has remained roughly stagnant. The share of Democratic women — now nearly 33 percent — has continued to climb, while the Republican female share has leveled off since hitting 10 percent during the mid-2000s. Currently there are just 22 women in the Republican caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrats have 62 women in the House.

Christianna Silva had a piece on FiveThirtyEight this week entitled "Don't Hold Your Breath For Gender Parity in Congress - It Could Take Another 100 Years." The rate of change in women's representation in Congress is misleading because the most progress has been made in the states that ranked the lowest.

Stories like these confirm the need for new strategies to elect women across the political and geographic spectrum if we are to win parity in our lifetimes!

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 30, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 30, 2016


Dear all,

Elle did a great piece last week about women leaders around the world and the role that they have played shaping the debate on many different topics - there is no question that strong women leaders of all political persuasions are seeking and winning elected office - but we have a long way to go until the United States is a leader on parity.

Emerge America launched a terrific campaign this week #WhySheRuns to highlight the many women who are running for office - please consider helping to spread the word about their new video or make your own WhySheRuns video!

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