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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 20, 2020

Posted on Blog on March 20, 2020

This week there has been a whirlwind of news relating to the spread of the coronavirus and the new realities we are all facing. For some without adequate healthcare or underlying medical conditions the threat to life is grave while for others the challenges of working remotely and 'social distancing' are very real. My youngest daughter is a college senior and so is bracing for an anti-climatic end to her collegiate career. I thought this photo article in The New York Times by Anemona Hartocolis and Kayana Szymczak is a beautiful tribute to the many students who organized their own graduation ceremonies before they left campus:


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 13, 2020

Posted on Blog on March 13, 2020

Ardern has infused New Zealand with a new kind of soft power. When she visited the U.K. to meet Queen Elizabeth II, who is still New Zealand’s head of state, she wore a kahu huruhuru, a feathered cloak bestowed by Maoris on people of honor. Lots of world leaders try the trick of celebrating a nation’s first peoples by donning the local dress. But Ardern, visibly pregnant at the time, didn’t wear her gift with the awkwardness of Western leaders who show up at local photo shoots in guayaberas or floral headdresses. She rocked it. “Other countries want to be associated with what she represents,” says Hayward. “That’s what’s unusual. She’s not having to ask for the time. The doors are opened because it’s helpful for other leaders to be associated with her.”


Warren exits, and our hopes for a woman president once again are dashed

Posted on News Coverage on March 08, 2020

As the last viable woman candidate leaves the field, we can expect the focus to shift quickly to the question of whether the remaining candidates will choose a woman — or even better, a woman of color — as a running mate. A woman vice president, regardless of race, would be a milestone for the U.S. and is a minimum requirement. If women are never at the top of the ticket, vice presidential running mates risk being seen as tokens, but we call on the major parties to always have a woman on their ticket to reflect a commitment to parity.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 6, 2020

Posted on Blog on March 06, 2020

Many thanks to our friends at UN Women who wrote a fabulous piece on Medium about 'Equiterra' a "New Utopian World Where Gender Equality Reigns" - I know you will enjoy reading the whole piece but here is a teaser: BREAKING NEWS: We found a country that has achieved gender equality! In Equiterra all people have equal rights and opportunities, regardless of their gender. Women and girls feel safe when walking at night. They get paid equally as men, for work of equal value. Men and women share chores and care duties at home, and they can access high quality care at affordable rates. Isn’t that fabulous! No one is talking about ‘at least 30 per cent’ quota for women in political leadership in Equiterra anymore — men and women are equally represented in political offices, corporate boardrooms and factory floors. Women have equal say in decisions that affect their lives, their bodies, their policies, and their environment. Girls are as valued as boys are, and people of all gender and sexuality feel safe and equal.


Women's representation is the heart of the democracy reform movement

Posted on News Coverage on March 02, 2020

Abigail Adams wrote to her husband at the Continental Congress in 1776, warning John: "If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation." That famous quote is a timely reminder that women have long been at the forefront of democracy reform to demand that our voices be heard. As our country celebrates a century of the 19th Amendment and the "universal" suffrage that came with its ratification, we also must reflect on the slow and minimal progress we've made in the past century.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 28, 2020

Posted on Blog on February 28, 2020

In addition to the foundation’s 20th anniversary, this year marks another milestone I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: the 25th anniversary of the Beijing World Conference on Women. (If that name doesn’t ring a bell, you may know it as the event where Hillary Clinton famously declared that “Human rights are women's rights, and women’s rights are human rights.”) I remember reading about the conference and feeling that the world had planted an important stake in the ground for women. But it took years before I recognized how gender equality would fit into my own work.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 21, 2020

Posted on Blog on February 21, 2020

This year marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. A hundred years after suffragists fought for and won the right to vote, women voters—empowered by the feminist, civil rights and LGBTQ movements—will likely determine the outcome of the high-stakes elections of 2020. Indeed, the power of women voters and feminist candidates to secure women’s rights is right now on display in Virginia, where the State House and Senate have just voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, making theirs the 38th and final state needed to add women to the Constitution.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 14, 2020

Posted on Blog on February 14, 2020

In recent years we have seen a rise of female representation in governments throughout the world owing in part to certain measures that have been taken allowing for more women in politics. One such measure, albeit a controversial one which to this day stirs quite a debate ranging from it defying the principle of equal opportunity to being outright undemocratic, is the gender-based quota imposed by governments to ensure a substantial female legislative representation. Governments in the MENA region have also taken this issue in stride, a great example of this is seen in the UAE’s Federal National Council (FNC), where the female participation quota has been increased to fifty per cent in an attempt by the government to cement the legislative and parliamentary role of women in the nation's development. Topping this growing list of governments with the greatest gender parity is Rwanda where women make up 61.3% of the lower house


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation February 7, 2020

Posted on Blog on February 07, 2020

While it has been a very busy week politically in Iowa and in Washington, DC, it is the eve of another increasingly political event - the Oscars - this coming Sunday evening. RepresentWomen's terrific research fellow Maura Reilly wrote It’s Time for the OscHers: When Will the Academy Honor Female-Driven Storytelling? that ran in the celebrity online news source The Wrap this week. Be sure to cast your ranked vote for best woman director in our online poll - we will release the results Sunday night: Support for movies, television and books that exemplify women and girls’ perspectives is not just about being recognized at award shows. The Geena Davis Institute has found the portrayal of women and girls in media directly impacts how young girls view their own abilities and options. “If they can see it, they can be it,” Davis has said, noting that the first step to gaining gender equality and equal opportunity is allowing young girls to imagine any role, job and life that they want for themselves. One of the biggest barriers for women reaching the highest levels of elected office is the perception of female leaders. The first step has to be normalizing the idea of female leaders across all fields — whether elected, appointed or fictional.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 31, 2020

Posted on Blog on January 31, 2020

Last night I had the real pleasure of participating in the launch for a new book on strategies to modernize our voting and election systems called When Women Vote: When Women Vote highlights the challenges Americans, particularly women, face when trying to vote in the current voting system, and the amazing things that happen with reform. We make the case for further voting reform and for removing bias in the voting process by sharing stories and experiences of women voters and leaders throughout the United States.