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Updates from RepresentWomen

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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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 8, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on February 08, 2019


(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) Stephanie Pitcher plays with her daughters Penelope, 4, and Charlotte, 6, at a park near their home in Salt Lake City. Pitcher, a Democrat, won her seat in House District 40, is a prosecutor for Davis County and also works with the Utah Women's Coalition. Sheand Utah Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, are sponsoring a proposal that would enable candidates to use campaign funds to cover child-care expenses.
Dear friends,
There was a great piece in The Salt Lake City Tribune that reports on exactly the type of rule change that enables women to run & serve more effectively - RepresentWomen is working to broadcast examples of rules changes like this widely:

“Allowing parents to use campaign funds for child care, we will see a more diverse field of candidates,” said Payne, mother of four young children.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 1, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on February 01, 2019


Dear all,
There has been a flurry of interest in Ranked Choice Voting this week including:
  • the NYC Charter Commission has included RCV in their list of recommendations - please contact the Commission directly if you are a New Yorker and would like to let them know why you support RCV - see this story in the Gotham Gazette
  • legislators in New Hampshire are considering using RCV for their presidential primary according to this story in AP
  • Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is testing the waters to run as an independent candidate for president - prompting a blizzard of commentary on social media pointing out the need for ranked choice voting and a number of good articles including this one by Rachel Kleinfield in The Hill and this one in The Economist

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