Posted on Blog on January 06, 2018
It's been a busy start to 2018 with daily reminders of both the need for women to have an equal voice in elected/appointed offices and the potential for rapid change that coalition work makes possible.
Posted on Blog on December 29, 2017
Barbara Lee, president and founder of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, penned a terrific piece that reflects what so many of us are thinking "We don;t need another Year of the Woman. We need progress for women every year" and I would add a special emphasis that we need progress for all women every year: Last January, after taking part in the largest single-day demonstration in recorded U.S. history, a 32-year-old emergency psychiatric screener at a New Jersey hospital spotted a Facebook post from her county official, who asked, mockingly: “Will the women's protest end in time for them to cook dinner?” Another year, she might have just raged; instead, she ran for his seat. On November 7, Ashley Bennett, a political newcomer, unseated John Carman, a career politician. She wasn’t alone. One year after the Women’s March, a new generation of women will be marching into office as newly-elected members of school boards, city councils and state legislatures. Their unlikely victories were made possible by thousands more women who organized, phone banked and drove their neighbors to the polls.
Posted on Blog on December 22, 2017
Phenomenal Woman By Maya Angelou Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It’s the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally.
Posted on Blog on December 15, 2017
Posted on Blog on December 01, 2017
As is often true, the most inspiring news I found this week on advancing gender parity comes from outside our borders. I hope that as we formulate and refine our work together to win parity in the United States we will stay curious about what's working in other countries and open to how we can incorporate best practices into our own work. There was a very interesting story about faculty hiring processes in Ireland, for example, that offers a glimpse of how institutions can adopt rules about appointments and recruitment that accelerate progress toward parity by using money as a carrot - and a stick - and introducing the idea of 'gender equality accreditation' that I can imagine could be used in a number of private and public institutions in the US:
Posted on Blog on November 22, 2017
I will keep this week's missive brief as I know we are all pressed for time this week - two of my three children arrived home last night with friends and two extra kittens in tow! I am itching to get home and make the dough for my mother in law's famous rolls and start the pie-making process. If you are still trying to decide what kind of pie to make - like me - try using our RankIt App to poll your family or guests. It's a handy app for deciding anything and everything but it's still in beta form so let us know how we can make it better! Click on the 'see results' button to understand this simple - yet fair - voting process! There was some coverage this week - including this piece in the Christian Science Monitor - on the election in Chili this weekend to select a new president. Sadly, there will be no female executives in the Americas once Bachelet steps down:
Posted on Blog on November 10, 2017
Women candidates made great strides in Tuesday's elections - both in record numbers of candidates - thanks to the great work of EmergeAmerica & its terrific state affiliates, Higher Heights, Latinas Represent and VoteRunLead among many others - and a record number of wins! The Center for American Women and Politics tallied the available results on their website. Ballotpedia tracks state legislative special elections, mayoral races, and municipal races as well.
Posted on Blog on November 03, 2017
According to this story on the MintPress News the United States has fallen to 49 in ranking of gender equality in a new World Economic Forum report: The United States has made significant decline. When the study started in 2006, the U.S. ranked 23 out of 144 countries being examined, but in 2017 the U.S. has fallen to 49. The U.S. has a significant gender pay gap and is one of few developed countries that does not have guaranteed paid maternity leave, which the WEF claims is a simple way for the U.S. to increase gender equality. While a majority of the countries participating in the study are steadily increasing their gender equality, even the top ranked countries, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Rwanda, and Sweden have not achieved gender parity. Japan dropped to 114th in gender equality in this same World Economic Forum report according to this story in The Japan Times while "Iceland topped the rankings for the ninth straight year, followed by Norway and Finland, according to the WEF, the organizer of the annual Davos meeting of business and political leaders. Rwanda came fourth, up from fifth, thanks to a rise in women’s economic participation."
A Conversation with Nadya Okamoto: Ranked Choice Voting, Young Women Running, and Representative Democracy
Posted on Blog on November 03, 2017
At the age of 19 years-old, second year Harvard student Nadya Okamoto is running for Cambridge City Council. There are currently twenty-six candidates running for nine at-large council seats on the council, six of which incumbent seats. Cambridge, Massachusetts conducts its elections using ranked choice voting, which allows voters to rank candidates in order of choice. Representation2020 sat down to talk with Nadya about the value of a representative democracy and ranked choice voting. “I am running in a district where over 35% of the demographic is under the age of 25 and over 34% of the adult population is enrolled in the university, yet we’ve never has student or youth representation on council.” As a supporter of representative democracy, she believes “we elect people to be able to represent experiences and basically act as megaphones for what the residents need.” Nadya believes that to truly be representative the council needs to have someone “living the experiences” or “can truly empathize” with the experiences of a student. She is looking to bridge that gap and believes it is important that young people’s voices are in the conversation, especially young women, because they are a part of the community.
Posted on Blog on October 27, 2017
The Barbara Lee Family Foundation released their report Opportunity Knocks that tracks the recent increase in the number of women running for office and makes the compelling case that there has never been a better time for women to run for office - tune in to their webinar on November 9th at 1pm to learn more. Barbara Lee had a great column in the Detroit News this week: Many of the characteristics voters associate with women — including honesty, integrity and authenticity — are highly prized by today’s electorate. Unsurprisingly, the strength and impact of these perceptions depends largely on candidates’ and voters’ respective party affiliations. Still, in many categories, women on both sides of the aisle benefit from their gender, with Democratic women candidates accentuating traditional Democratic advantages and Republican women overcoming some of the weaknesses voters typically associate with women and Republican candidates...