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Updates from RepresentWomen

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 12, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 12, 2019


Kakenya Ntaiya, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucka, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo of Belgium, Heidi Hartmann, Melanne Verveer, and Hanna Kristjansdottir at American University College of Law this week
Dear friends,
It was a real pleasure to attend two great event this week in Washington, DC. On Wednesday the Washington College of Law at American University and the Institute for Women's Policy Research hosted a terrific event with gender equality experts (pictured above) who gathered to discuss the new book by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander de Croo entitled The Age of Women: Why Feminism Also Liberates Men:

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 5, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on April 05, 2019


Lori Lightfoot was elected mayor of Chicago - the 3rd largest city in the United States - becoming the first African American and first openly gay person elected to that office.
Many news outlets covered her victory including The Washington Post:

Voters in Chicago made history on Tuesday by electing Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, as the city’s first black female mayor. Her commanding victory capped a grueling campaign in which Lightfoot, who will become the city’s first openly gay mayor, defeated more than a dozen challengers en route to winning her first elected office.

Lightfoot, 56, is now set to lead the nation’s third-largest city as it continues to grapple with gun violence, alleged public corruption, ongoing efforts to reform the police force and an exodus of black residents. In the runoff election on Tuesday, she defeated Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, in a contest fraught with historic meaning, given that it featured two black women vying to succeed outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 29, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on March 29, 2019


Dear friends,
I had a piece in The Hill this week about how best to honor the legacy of the brave women whose work got us to where we are today, here is a short excerpt:

Sojourner Truth didn’t deliver her iconic “Ain’t I a Woman?” address for the sake of an inspirational Instagram post. Susan B. Anthony didn’t champion women’s voting rights for a special museum exhibit. A women-themed happy hour was hardly the motivation for Sacagawea’s dangerous trek across the country with Lewis and Clark.

Yet we continue to celebrate Women's History Month with hashtags and Ruth Bader Ginsburg swag.

We owe it to Sojourner and Susan and Sacagawea, and all the fearless women revolutionaries who came before us, to celebrate women not only in panel discussions and museum exhibits but with the institutional reforms that create fair and equal representation.

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Weekend Readin on Women's Representation March 22, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on March 22, 2019


(Sign painted on the wall of a local women's handicraft shop in Kathmandu)
I have had another very full week in Nepal meeting with staff from UN Women, members of Parliament, journalists and other women's representation experts. For the last three days I have been helping to lead an amazing gathering of democracy advocates from around the world who are all alums of the Community Solutions Program run by the US State Department. While I have really enjoyed everyone at the conference I have especially enjoyed getting to know women from Pakistan, Egypt, Uganda, Mongolia, Zambia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Tanzania, and Nepal whose work for women's equality is courageous. I hope to find ways to continue to work with these incredible women in the months and years to come.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 15, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on March 15, 2019


Hello friends,
Amidst an amazing array of adventures & meetings I stumbled into the shop of a fabulous young woman named Nasreen Sheikh in Kathmandu who is an eloquent & passionate advocate for the rights of women & girls. Here is a short video from my chance encounter with her and the TED talk she shared as follow up!

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 1, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on March 01, 2019


(Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle candidates for mayor of Chicago will advance to a runoff election)
Dear friends,
I am traveling today so this will be an unusually brief missive - I know I have said that before but this will really be brief!
Chicago voters selected two African American women Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle to advance to the runoff election according to this story in the Washington Post:

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 22, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on February 22, 2019


Candidates for the democratic nomination: Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobchar, & Elizabeth Warren
Dear friends,
Marie Claire profiled the women candidates this week - not sure that I agree with their assessment that multiple women running for the presidency is the 'final stage of the resistance' but it is indeed a step in the right direction:
The 2020 race has only just begun, but already it’s looking like a vastly different—and better—kind of playing field. For the first time in our nation's history, there is not just one, or even two, or a few, but a record-smashing, can you believe it six women running for president. At press time in mid-February, there were officially more women seeking the Democratic nomination than men: Four senators and one representative as well as spiritual leader Marianne Williamson. Marie Claire went to the Capitol to capture the historic moment by interviewing and photographing the female politicians vying to be leader of the free world. (We arrived right after the government shutdown ended—they had plenty to say about that.)

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 15, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on February 15, 2019


My dear friends,
There was a terrific story on CNN about the first "female duo" to run a House committee that features the fast friendship and years of collaboration between Rep Kay Granger (TX-R) and Rep Nita Lowey (NY-D) who is my college friend's mother:

The last time two women led a House committee, the year was 1977 and the panel was the Select Committee on the House Beauty Shop.

Forty-two years later, another female duo is in control.
This time it's one of the most powerful committees in Congress -- the House Appropriations Committee -- which is at the center of congressional power and spending.

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Meet the team: Louisa Sholar

By Louisa Sholar by on February 11, 2019


My first understanding of gender quotas and their effect on women’s representation occurred in my political science research course. We were practicing with SPSS data software and our instructor had us run a test comparing the percentage of women in legislatures worldwide amongst countries with and without quotas. As the graph processed, we could see two distinct curves emerge— the line representing countries with quotas veered significantly upwards, showing the rapid difference in representation one institutionalized rule made. It was a clear, statistically-proven example of a concrete tool being used to successfully increase women’s participation in government, and although I was aware that other countries had varying levels of representation for women and minority groups, I had never considered that specific techniques to achieve parity could be used to advance those results.

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