International


Strides Towards Gender Parity in Mexico

Posted on Blog 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 102rd 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%.


Meeting with Liberian Rep. Rosana Schaack

Posted on Blog by , , , , on June 19, 2018

RepresentWomen was honored to welcome Rosana Schaack, member of the Liberian House of Representatives, to our offices. She shared her experiences working in a male-dominated government and the challenges she and other Liberian women face as they work towards gender parity in the legislature. In Liberia’s most recent election for the national legislature,  146 women ran  but just four women challengers won seats. Currently, there are only 11 female legislators out of 103 total in the Legislature of Liberia, with nine women in the House and two in the Senate.



Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 25, 2018

Posted on Blog on May 25, 2018

Four states held primaries/runoffs this week: Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Arkansas. I worked hard in 1989 to elect Douglas Wilder to be the first male Black governor elected in the United States so it's particularly exciting to report that Stacey Abrams won the primary in Georgia and now moves forward to the general election. A win in November would make Abrams the first female Black governor in the US. The New York Times reported on her win and Kelly Dittmar from the Center for American Women & Politics provides yet another terrific summary of election outcomes:


Multi-Winner Districts and Women’s Representation: From New Zealand to the United States

Posted on Blog on September 29, 2017

New Zealand recently conducted its 2017 Parliamentary elections. With a mixed member electoral system in the House of Representatives, officials are elected from both single-winner electorates and party lists. In the recent election, 45% of the party list seats (multi-winner) were won by women, compared to only 35% of the general electorate seats (single-winner).


Monarchy or Democracy: Which Yields More Women's Leadership?

Posted on Blog on August 30, 2017

This past Saturday was Women’s Equality Day, which marked the anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment. In the United States, women make up just 25% of state legislators, and even less at the federal level. And of course, we have never elected a woman as President. After 97 years of women’s suffrage, we should do better. But how? We looked to the rest of the world, and we found a solution: monarchy. You may be thinking of monarchy as an old-fashioned, outdated institution, and in many ways it is. But there is one way in which it strides ahead of democracy, and that is the number of women who have, as queens and empresses, led their countries. In these monarchies, throughout history and all over the world, there are countless examples of women’s political capabilities.



Where does the US stand on gender quotas?

Posted on Blog by on July 08, 2016

More than half of the countries in the world today use some sort of an electoral quota system, whether it is for geographical, ethnic or gender diversification.