Posted on Blog on May 29, 2020
As readers may remember, jurisdictions with ranked choice voting are electing more women to office for both executive and legislative offices than the norm in non-RCV cities. There have been some very successful uses of ranked choice voting this year by both major parties for primaries and party elections but the biggest news is that Massachusetts is well on its way to becoming the 2nd state to adopt RCV. If you care about democracy read this good piece in The Fulcrum about the effort and if you live in Massachusetts please sign the petition:
Posted on Blog on May 22, 2020
There were a lot of terrific articles this week discussing women's representation and leadership including this piece on Forbes by Marianne Schnall that features interviews with a number of prominent women discussing women's leadership: A few weeks ago an evocative meme was making the social media rounds: a picture of the leaders of Germany, New Zealand, Belgium, Finland, Iceland and Denmark with the caption “COVID-19 is everywhere but countries with heads of state managing the crisis better seem to have something in common…” Of course the answer was that they were all women. The narrative is that from Angela Merkel of Germany to Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand to Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan (as well as the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway), it does appear that countries who have female leaders at the helm are proving to be faring better during the pandemic thanks to their effective handling of the response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Posted on Blog on May 15, 2020
There were a number of great pieces tied to the celebration of Mother's Day which pointed to the contradiction between the Hallmark version of the holiday and the lived experiences of many, if not all, women. I especially loved a piece in The New York Times by Kim Brooks titled "Forget Pancakes. Pay Mothers" which challenges readers to think about the work of raising children and running households in the United States:
Posted on Blog on May 08, 2020
As perhaps some of you heard, a federal judge ruled against equal pay for the championship U.S. women's soccer team this week according to this story by Liz Clarke in The Washington Post: Chants of “Equal pay! Equal pay!” erupted among a crowd of nearly 60,000 in Lyon, France, in July when the U.S. women clinched their fourth World Cup championship with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands. Nearly 10 months later, federal judge R. Gary Klausner, ruling in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Pasadena on Friday, was unpersuaded by the women’s legal case for that demand. Klausner rejected the U.S. women’s soccer team’s argument that it has been underpaid relative to the U.S. men in the gender-discrimination suit filed in March 2019.
Posted on Blog on May 01, 2020
As the general election looms ever closer, concern about the voting process is intensifying. There was a great piece in The Fulcrum this week by LeeAnne Grapes about combining mailed ballots with ranked choice voting to ensure a healthy & safe voting process: Of course, no one could have foreseen a pandemic upending life as we know it. But as the threat of coronavirus became increasingly pressing, the state's Democratic leadership responded by cancelling the in-person caucuses and instead mailing every registered Democrat a ballot that could be dropped off or mailed back.
Posted on Blog on April 24, 2020
There was a very interesting piece by Michelle Quist in The Salt Lake Tribune about the under-representation of women in state and local government in Utah and the use of Ranked Choice Voting in several jurisdictions and for GOP state party elections. Utah is a fascinating case study because the legislature adopted the local option bill almost unanimously, the republican party has been central to its effective implementation, and a number of women have been elected with RCV to local office with the catchy slogan faster, better, cheaper to describe ranked choice voting:
Posted on Blog on April 17, 2020
Many of you have probably seen the widely-circulated piece by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox in Forbes about the impressive role that women leaders have been playing in reducing the impact of the coronavirus in their respective countries. These countries all have some form of proportional representation system to elect their parliaments which, in tandem with intentional recruitment strategies, leads to more women getting elected and women's power becoming normalized. While the United States ranks 81st worldwide for women's representation, Germany ranks 49th, New Zealand ranks 20th, Iceland ranks 31st, Finland ranks 11th, Norway ranks 17th, and Denmark ranks 25th. Research confirms that voting systems have a clear impact on norms around women's leadership and representation, if you'd like to learn more click here. And read a snippet of the piece by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox below:
Posted on Blog on April 10, 2020
As news about the coronavirus continues so does the analysis of the impact on women and contributions of women leaders. This week Barbara Lee, founder and CEO of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, had a very thoughtful piece for Newsweek about the critically important role that women governors and mayors are playing in addressing the crisis.
Posted on Blog on April 03, 2020
It has been another week of headlines about the coronavirus and its impact on the healthcare system, the economy, and our daily lives. Each week also brings reminders of the women who have worked so hard for the rights we now enjoy and the incredible women leaders among us. March 31st was the anniversary of Abigail Adams' letter to her husband, written in 1776, admonishing him to remember the ladies: I long to hear that you have declared an independency -- and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticuliar 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.
Posted on Blog on March 27, 2020
Despite the arrival of Spring this week it feels as though winter may still be coming - at least in the northern hemisphere. News about the spread of the coronavirus - and the mixed reactions to it - have understandably dominated the headlines. Amidst the cacophony of coverage there have been a number of stories about the impact of the virus on women including this one from The Interpreter by Sara Davies, Sophie Harman, Jacqui True, and Clare Wenham that dives into the role of gender: The Covid-19 outbreak has revealed the strengths and weaknesses in our collective global and national capacities to respond to this health emergency. Everything in our social world is gendered, and so it is with Covid-19. As with the experience of wars and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, women are often those least visible in crisis decision-making, yet within health emergencies they are conspicuous as healthcare workers and carers. This gendered reality is a remarkable pattern replicated across diverse societies and countries.