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Pages tagged "Topic:Weekend Reading"

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation December 8th, 2023

Dear Readers,

It’s hard to believe December is here. I hope you are staying warm and feeling a bit of joy and hopeful anticipation this holiday season.

This week, I was reading through Forbes' 20th annual list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women and noticed the scarcity of women in top political roles, with Giorgia Meloni being the sole woman leading a G20 economy. Ten years ago, five women were heading nations among the top 25 global economies.

At RepresentWomen, we know that current progress towards gender balance is slow and uneven but that systems solutions can accelerate progress.  In this week’s Weekend Reading, let’s examine new data and news stories on women’s representation and the solutions for the problems they highlight.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation November 17th, 2023

Dear Readers,

The results are in! In the aftermath of last Tuesday's elections, a resounding chorus of success echoes through the political landscape, underscored by the impactful role of ranked choice voting (RCV) in advancing gender parity. With several key races called and other big announcements made, let’s reflect on what this week’s news means for women’s representation around the United States.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation November 3rd, 2023

Dear Readers,

This week, millions in the U.S. and abroad celebrated Halloween by dressing up, eating candy, and getting into the spooky spirit! Ghosts and goblins may haunt the streets on Halloween night, but the real spookiness lies in the structural barriers that hinder progress toward gender balance. Just as you might encounter eerie surprises and unexpected scares while trick-or-treating, the path to a more inclusive and representative government is riddled with its own set of "tricks" and "treats." 

In this week's Weekend Reading, we'll expose the "tricks" that have haunted our democracy and celebrate the "treats" that can remove these obstacles once and for all. 👻🔮🎃

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation October 20th 2023

Dear Readers,

Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep's words remind us about the structural barriers women face in politics and society: 

 “Women have lived in the house of men all their lives. We can speak the language of men. You know how when you learn French, you learn Spanish; it isn’t your language until you dream in it. And the only way to dream in it is to speak it. And women speak Men. But men don’t speak women. They don't dream in it.”

This quote is a reminder that societal and political systems were built by and for men, and women are forced to adapt to them. Instead of focusing only on training women to adapt to the structures meant to exclude them, we should change these structures to be more inclusive.

RepresentWomen dreams of a healthy and inclusive democracy achieved through systemic reform. 

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 22nd, 2023

Dear Readers,

This Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day. Despite the recent increases, voter turnout in the 2020 presidential election was just 66% according to the Pew Research Center. While voting is essential, a huge factor in determining winners in U.S. winner-take-all elections is the system, not the voter. To have a truly representative democracy, the United States needs to change its electoral system. Adopting ranked choice voting for single winner races and proportional ranked choice voting for elections that elect more than one person will yield a truly representative democracy. Diversity in politics is crucial, as those making decisions influence the concerns addressed, approaches used, and creative solutions offered. Women bring different perspectives, lived experiences, and issues to governing and we must change our voting system to elect more women to office, faster.

Our research emphasizes the link between electoral systems and women's representation, supporting proportional ranked choice voting (P-RCV) in the United States. Countries with proportional representation (PR) have better-gendered representation, and the inclusion of gender quotas in party nominations further enhances it. Check out our Op-Ed in Democracy SOS to learn more about elections in the U.S.!

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 15th, 2023

Dear Readers,

This week's Weekend Reading is designed to provide an update on our work as we celebrate our 5th anniversary as an independent, non-profit, non partisan organization.

RepresentWomen (then Representation2020) started as a project of FairVote in 2013. Representation 2020 was founded to research the best practices to address the barriers women face in politics as candidates and elected officials in order to advance women's representation and leadership. 

In 2018, Representation2020 became RepresentWomen, an independent research-based organization led by Cynthia Richie Terrell. We secured a multi-year grant from Pivotal Ventures in 2019, worked with many passionate and talented interns, and hired our first staff within a year.

Over the years, we have expanded to twelve staff and four departments (Research, Partnerships, Communications, and Development), hosted wonderful fellows from the U.S. State Department's IREX program , and worked with over 100 hundred interns! We are delighted with how far we have come and can’t wait to continue growing as we work for a truly representative democracy. Thank you for following our journey and for your generous support.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 8th, 2023

Dear Readers,

As the U.S. Open draws to a close, it's important to acknowledge its role in advancing gender equality. In his articleScott Allen highlights how tennis icon Billie Jean King championed women's representation by voicing her frustration with the gender disparity in prize money at the 1972 U.S. Open. King threatened not to compete the following year if her needs were unmet. In 1973, Ban deodorant stepped in with a $55,000 grant, the "Ban Equalizer," ensuring the U.S. Open became the first Grand Slam to award equal prize money to both genders.

Billie Jean King, painted by Melanie Humble

King's advocacy and negotiations with Ban made this historic shift possible. As the United States Open commemorates the 50th anniversary of this milestone, it emphasizes the importance of equitable representation and respect for female athletes in sports. This example was later embraced by the larger tennis community, underscoring the relevance of women's representation and merits in the athletic world.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 1st, 2023

Dear Readers,

A Time Magazine essay by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf highlights the overlap between feminism and democracy. In 1971, Rep. Bella Abzug proposed that August 26th, the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, be formally recognized as Women’s Equality Day. Abzug, Gloria SteinemShirley Chisholm, and Fannie Lou Hamer also formed the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC). RepresentWomen shares a belief in the imperative of gender equality with the NWPC and the founders of Women’s Equality Day.

Still, women are significantly underrepresented in most states. While women's political power has grown, systemic barriers persist, hindering progress on feminist goals. The overturning of Roe v. Wade and the struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment demonstrate the ongoing battles for women's rights. According to our 2023 Gender Parity Index (GPI), only two states have achieved gender balance in elected office. The U.S. as a whole is about halfway to parity. Our research confirms that jurisdictions with greater percentages of women in office have led to feminist issues becoming a priority.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 25th 2023

Dear Readers,

Tomorrow, August 26th, is Women's Equality Day, which marks the anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment. The Amendment gave some women the right to vote. Women of color did not get the right to vote until 1965, when the Voting Rights Act was passed.

Bella Abzug, a feminist, lawyer, and social activist, played a pivotal role in establishing Women's Equality Day. Her nickname “Battling Bella” is a testament to her unwavering dedication to women's rights, which led to the formal recognition of August 26th as Women's Equality Day.

While it is important to celebrate the progress we have made toward gender equality, it is essential that we acknowledge the steps we have yet to take for a more equitable society. This theme is explored in the League of Women Voters' Women's Inequality Day Campaign. Some strides towards gender equality have been reversed, and women of this generation shockingly have fewer rights than generations prior. Sign the petition to help fix this issue today!

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 18th, 2023

Dear Readers

Last week, our 10th annual Gender Parity Index was released. Our longest-standing and most extensive body of work fueled some spirited and informed discussions about women’s representation in the U.S. on social media.

Thank you to everyone who shared the GPI on social media!

The Gender Parity Index can be used for:

  • Providing data-backed evidence on the ways democracy reform improves representation outcomes
  • Opening the eyes of communities and decision-makers on the need to invest in change
  • Providing data-backed evidence on the ways democracy reform improves representation outcomes in states that have adopted a given reform
  • Using the GPI as a tool for further research
  • Celebrating your state's progress and the reforms and policies that contributed.
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