Posted on Blog on June 22, 2018
On Tuesday, June 19th, D.C. held primary elections for mayor, city council, and non-voting delegate to the U.S. House. In the reliably Democratic District, the primary invariably determines the outcome of the general election. The most exciting race was not the actual election, but rather a ballot initiative extending D.C.’s $15 minimum wage to tipped workers, which passed by 55 percent approval. The primary elections for executive office and city council, in which all incumbents won their bid at re-election, shed light on gender and racial representation in the District’s government.
Posted on Blog by , , on June 21, 2018
An April 2018 study titled “Women and corruption: What positions must they hold to make a difference?” found that corruption is lower in countries with more women in office at both the national and local level. The authors suggest that this is because women legislators often champion policies that address poverty, education, and healthcare at a greater rate than men, and have been found to be “more concerned about whether subsidies were provided to the targeted group without corruption.”
Posted on Blog by on June 20, 2018
While there has been much media coverage on gender disparity in the legislative branch, there is little attention being paid to the lack of representation of women and people of color in the judicial branch. Less than one-third of state judges are women, even while women make up more than one-half of the U.S. population. People of color make up about 40% of the population, but account for less than 20 percent of state judges. At the federal level, only 36 percent of United States trial court judges are women and only 10.5 percent of U.S. federal judges are women of color.
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.
Posted on Blog on June 15, 2018
I have been thinking a lot about majority rule. My daughter and I were among the fortunate who got to see Hamilton at the Kennedy Center this week. I was of course reminded of the errors of our 'founders' who institutionalized the oppression of women & people of color in our Constitution which was, and is, much heralded for its promise of representative democracy. I was also reminded of the core belief in majority rule that the 'founders' wrestled with in designing our government, and that the lyrics from Hamilton challenge people to consider:
Four cities in the Bay Area—San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro—have made the switch to an electoral system called Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). RCV is a voting system that allows voters to rank candidates as their first, second, third choice and so on. If no candidate has a majority when votes are counted, the candidate with the fewest number of votes is eliminated, and ballots that have those candidates marked as their first choice are counted towards the candidate they selected as their second choice. This process results in elections that are fairer and better represent voters’ preferences.
Women now comprise two thirds of the cabinet of the newly-elected government in Spain according to this story in the The New York Times: Spain’s new prime minister on Wednesday unveiled a government that has more women than men and includes a foreign minister from Catalonia who has led the fight against the region’s independence movement. After meeting with King Felipe VI, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told journalists that his team was “a government for an equal society, open to the world but anchored in the European Union.”
Posted on Blog on June 01, 2018
There were several articles this week that caught my eye including this one from Oklahoma Watch about the gender gap that still persists despite the increase in the number of women running: This year, there will be nearly four times as many women running for the same number of seats. And following a trend across the nation, women will be better represented on the ballot than in at least a decade – and likely ever. Female lawmakers say women bring a different perspective and tone to the often-contentious world of lawmaking. But Oklahoma’s gender disparity in the Legislature, which is among the most heavily male dominated in the country, is likely to continue despite movements such as the Oklahoma teacher walkout, the #MeToo movement and liberal opposition to President Donald Trump that have motivated more women across the country to enter politics. An Oklahoma Watch review of legislative candidate filings for the 2018 elections, social media pages and campaign websites shows that women make up 32 percent of this year’s field. That’s a significant increase over the past four election cycles, when female representation among legislative candidates ranged from 15 percent to 22 percent.