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Updates from RepresentWomen

Meet the Team: Jiakun 'Jack' Li

By Jiakun Li on October 03, 2018

Hello! My name is Jiakun ‘Jack’ Li, the new research intern at RepresentWomen. I am a recent graduate from Johns Hopkins University Applied Economics Program, a teaching assistant at School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) for Macroeconomics, and a research assistant on STATA programming and code replication for Assistant Professor Ryan Kim at SAIS. I was born and raised in Shanghai, China, a city bursting with endless nightlife and countless entertainment. After work, I enjoy trying out new restaurants (I appreciate all types of cuisine, especially Chinese, Thai and Italian), working out, playing board games (Settler of Catan) and watching GoT/West World. In addition, I love learning new languages (Spanish in progress) and hope to achieve Italian or Portuguese next.

In January 2017, I landed in Washington, D.C. and I witnessed the historical outcome of the 2016 presidential election. I was deeply struck due to the subsequent influence of politics on people’s daily lives, such as the 2018 Tax Reform and the termination of DACA program, which strengthened my interest in politics and led to the research internship at RepresentWomen.

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Meet the Team: Courtney Lamendola

By Courtney Lamendola on October 01, 2018

When I signed up for “Theories of International Relations” last year, I never expected to learn as much about feminism as I did.  And yet, while sitting in my first class, I was introduced to the works of J. Ann Tickner – a feminist IR theorist who argues that omitting women from political theory leads to women being omitted from political practice.  Through that class, I learned that there are structural causes for the underrepresentation of women in politics, and that this is evident not only in the makeup of our leaders, but also in how our future leaders are being taught.  

Studying Tickner motivated me to learn more about what can be done to remove the barriers that prevent women from being elected into office.  Because representation matters. Whether it’s a name on a book or a ballot, representation encourages participation – and I strongly believe that it is necessary to create more opportunities for women to be representatives in this country.  What I did not anticipate, was how quickly I would find this opportunity.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 28, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 28, 2018

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Dear all,
It has been a week that confirmed both the stark reality of partisan polarization in 2018 and the power of organizing and reason to impact the political process. In 1942 Eleanor Roosevelt said "There is just a chance that this is not a time when women should be patient." We are indeed well-past the time for patience on many fronts.
I suspect that all of you are feeling pressed for time - I certainly am - so I will share just a few articles that caught my eye this week.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 21, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 21, 2018

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Dear women's representation enthusiasts,
There was a very interesting story in ISS Today about women's representation in Somalia which has been increasing since the introduction and reintroduction of quotas - while compliance and implementation have been a challenge, women are 'claiming their place in Somalia politics":

Women’s participation in Somali politics has traditionally been low, and a controversial topic in the country. Somali society typically ascribes to more conservative notions of a woman’s role in family and community life, rarely envisioning a position of political leadership in a male-dominated system. This has been changing, but there’s a long road ahead.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 14, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 14, 2018

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Greetings!

According to this piece on Broadly:

White men form the minority of House Democratic nominees this cycle, giving way to a wave of women and people of color who outnumber them.

An analysis from Politico found that women in the Democratic Party have clinched 180 House nominations this cycle; at least 133 Democratic House nominees are people of color, and 158 are first-time candidates, there being some overlap among the three categories.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 7, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 07, 2018

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Dear women's representation allies,
The primaries are nearly over save for remaining contests in New Hampshire (September 11), Rhode Island (September 12), & New York (September 13) according to the National Conference of State Legislatures while "Louisiana’s Nov. 6, 2018, election is an all-comers primary, where candidates of all parties are listed on one ballot together. If no candidate for a race receives a majority of the votes, the winner will be determined in a runoff on December 8." As a reminder, the runoff elections that are triggered in Louisiana & elsewhere, if no candidate wins a majority, are costly and fewer voters participate in them making ranked choice voting a sensible solution.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 31, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on August 31, 2018

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Hello friends!
This fall RepresentWomen will become fiscally independent from FairVote and we are planning a celebration! Please buy your ticket for the event & share the invite with others to help us fill the room with women's representation allies! Do let me know if you have any questions or would like to be on the host committee!

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Meet the Team: Baktybek Kainazarov

By Baktybek Kainazarov on August 29, 2018

Coming from a patriarchal society in Central Asia, it is a great challenge to advocate for women’s political participation and gender advancement. When I meet colleagues from governmental institutions and even from civil society organizations, they ask two questions: “Why does the political participation of women matter for our country and is it difficult to advocate for gender advancement while being male?” My simple answer is that I think about the future of my daughter and little sisters who are potentially vulnerable to issues such as underage marriage, bride kidnapping, gender based violence, and girls education.

My interests in gender advancement increased during my PhD research on Central Asian civil society, whereby I investigated the role of women in our society. Five years of research on the civil society sector of the post-Soviet region totally changed my view on gender issues and it gave me a great opportunity to explore cultural and traditional barriers faced by women and adolescent girls across the region. Hence, after my PhD research I committed myself to work in the area of gender equality at the academic and professional level.

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If we can achieve gender parity in our student government associations, then why haven't we achieved the same in Congress?

By RepresentWomen by on August 25, 2018

In high schools around the country, the number of men and women that are interested in politics, and that run for student government are about equal. In college, about 52.93% of student government positions are held by women, which is representative of undergraduate students demographics.  But that parity is not maintained after college. Despite making up 51% of the population, women only make up 20% of congress, and the problem isn’t just getting elected – only 22% of this year’s senatorial candidates are women, which is the highest it’s ever been, but it still shows how few women are running. So why aren’t women running for office nearly as much as they do in a scholastic environment?

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 24, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on August 24, 2018

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(NY state assembly women Nathalia Fernandez & Patricia Fahy with Manhattan Borough president Gale Brewer at the Susan B Anthony Park in Rochester, NY)
Happy Women's Equality Weekend!
In 1971 Representative Bella Abzug (D NY) called for a women's equality day on August 26th of each year to commemorate ratification of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution that granted women the right to vote, according to the National Women's History Project:

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 and passed in 1973,  the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.”

The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.

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