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Updates from RepresentWomen

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 19, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on July 19, 2018

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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

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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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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 13, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on July 13, 2018

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Querida hermanas,
Mexico now ranks 4th for women's representation worldwide! Women in Mexico, of course, are pretty much the same as women in the US but gender quotas and proportional voting are fueling women's electoral success there. RepresentWomen intern Jamie Solomon wrote about women's representation in Mexico last week and political scientists Jennifer Piscopo and

While observers discuss leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s victory in Mexico’s presidential election, complete with majorities in both chambers of congress and control of nearly half the governorships and state legislatures up for election, another historic earthquake has been overlooked: gender parity in congress.

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#WomenToWatch on November 6

By Evelien van Gelderen by on July 13, 2018

 

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

 

Debra (Deb) Haaland may well become the first Native American congresswoman in United States history come November. This June, she defeated Damon Martinez to win the Democratic primary in the race for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. Right now, the district is represented by Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is running for governor and is currently New Mexico’s only woman in Congress. 

 

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Interview with Senator Mary Margaret Whipple

By Evelien van Gelderen by on July 12, 2018

The RepresentWomen interns had the distinct pleasure of speaking with former state senator Mary Margaret Whipple last week, who served for many years in the Virginia Senate for the 31st district. Senator Whipple became the first woman to hold a leadership position in the Virginia General Assembly when she was elected Chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. Prior to serving in the General Assembly, she was on the Arlington School Board and the Arlington County Board. During her time in office, she was instrumental in passing environmental protection measures and was also active in housing and education reform efforts.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 6, 2018

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on July 06, 2018

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The New York Times wrote about women's representation in state legislatures and how those statistics are likely to change after the general elections in November. The piece quotes Katie Ziegler from the NCSL who rightly points out that the central reason that women remain underrepresented is because incumbents win re-election and incumbents are mostly men. While more women are projected to win this November, any that win in seats held by the opposite party are unlikely to hold on to those seats in the next election cycle - which confirms the need for reforms of our district design and voting systems:
 
A record number of women won Nevada’s primaries in June. And there is now a possibility for the Legislature to have more women than men, which would be a first in United States history. Of the states that have had primaries so far, at least eight more have a shot at reaching or surpassing the 50 percent mark in November.

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Strides Towards Gender Parity in Mexico

By Jamie Solomon by on July 06, 2018

In both the United States and Mexico, 2018 has been called “the year of the woman,” an inspiring phrase based on the surges of female political activism across the globe. Despite using the same battle cry, the electoral landscapes for women in the two countries are drastically different: according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s measurement of women’s representation in parliament, the US ranks 102nd internationally, while Mexico ranks a striking 9th. Such an incredible gap cannot be simply explained by only one factor; however, Mexico’s mandatory gender quotas for political parties, along with a combination of proportional and winner-take-all districts, are indelibly crucial components, offering insightful lessons for visibly urgent change in the US.

Mexico has a history of legal support for parity in politics, but their most comprehensive and successive initiative has been the 2014 law requiring parties to ensure that 50% of candidates are female. Now, four years later, 42.5% of the lower house of Congress is female, an astounding number on par with Scandinavian countries. For contrast, the percentage of women in the US House of Representatives is not even 20%.

Claudia Sheinbaum, the first elected female mayor of Mexico City         

Photo Credit: Express UK

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