Senator Mazie Hirono painted by Melanie Humble
As part of a series of interviews with Asian American leaders for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, The Washington Post
spoke with Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono about her new memoir "Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter's Story
" and her perspectives on race and politics - read the transcript here:
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) led the push for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act that recently passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The bill is aimed at addressing a surge in attacks on Asian Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Hirono joined Washington Post reporter David Nakamura to discuss the legislation and personal reflections from her new memoir, “Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter’s Story.” Hirono is the first in a series of conversations on Washington Post Live to mark Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.
Asian American women leaders Rep Patsy Mink, Tina Tchen, Katherine Tai, & former Oakland mayor Jean Quan - painted by Melanie Humble
It's Asian Pacific American Heritage month in the United States which is a great opportunity to celebrate women leaders Patsy Mink
, Tina Tchen
, Katherine Tai
, Jean Quan
among many others. I am so grateful to be serving on the ReflectUS
board with Madalene Mielke
- CEO of APAICS
, which is preparing a generation of new young Asian American leaders to run for office.
Tragically, the increase in attacks on Asian & Pacific Americans over the last year has led many to feel unsafe in their communities according to this article
in The 19th*
by Alexa Mikhail
and Mariel Padilla
Vice president Harris & speaker Pelosi on the dais, painted by Melanie Humble
For the first time in our nation's history two women stood on the dais in the Capitol last night as leaders in the executive and legislative branches of government as this story
in USA Today
For the first time in history, two women sat behind a president during an address to a joint session of Congress.
The historic image during Joe Biden's speech Wednesday is 245 years in the making since the nation's founding.
"Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President," Biden said as he took the podium. "No president has ever said those words from this podium and it's about time."
For the first time, both of those positions are now held by women: Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
American presidents are flanked by the speaker of the House and the vice president during such high-profile speeches, each sitting behind and on either side of the commander in chief during the prime time address.
Rachel Carson, painted by Melanie Humble on a Suffrage palette background
"We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth." Rachel Carson
Dear women's representation enthusiasts,
It would be such a grand thing to invite you all to my garden, to talk about world events, share a glass of rose & some fresh asparagus, and fortify ourselves for the work ahead. So many stories in the news and in our everyday lives revolve around power - the power we have, the lack of power that so many experience, and the untapped power that we must find to build a future where power is shared and is grounded in justice and equality. As if on cue, the Council of Foreign Relations
released their updated Women's Power Index
this week and, according to their metrics, women's power has increased in countries including the United States, Belgium, and Lithuania and twenty two countries now have a woman head of state (as was true in 2019) but overall women's power has grown very little:
Dear gender equality fans,
I’m sure you all saw the amazing headline in the Washington Post about how women’s equality and domination has been achieved.
Portraits painted by Melanie Humble of women leaders including: Maya Angelou, Lucretia Mott, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Warren, Fannie Lou Hamer, Condi Rice, Coretta Scott King, Ashley Judd, Frances Munoz, Tina Tchen, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Shirley Chisholm, Michelle Obama, & Tammy Duckworth
As Women's History Month comes to a close I thought I would begin and end with portraits of a few of the women leaders who have, as Alice Paul suggested "added their stone to the mosaic" of the movement for women's equality. I am feeling more impatient with the status quo and more eager, than ever, to understand the best practices to get more women into positions of power & to support efforts to implement those best practices in the United States.
Democratic lawmakers - wearing white suits in honor of the Suffragists - most of whom were Republicans - stand on the Capitol steps in Washington on Wednesday after passing a joint resolution to remove the Equal Rights Amendment deadline. NBCNews
Dear fans of women's representation.
The House of Representatives voted this week to remove the deadline to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act which expired in 2019 according to this story
on NBC News
The House passed a resolution Wednesday to remove the deadline to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment — just weeks after a federal judge ruled that time had already run out.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said the passage of her joint resolution by a vote of 222-204 made it clear that "there can be no expiration date on equality."
World map of women's representation from Inter-Parliamentary Union & UNWomen
Dear fans of women's representation,
The incredible team at the Inter-Parliamentary Union
released their 2021 map and report on international women's representation this week in advance of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. According to the press release from the IPU, the map "shows the latest data on women’s participation in political decision-making, including the number of countries with women Heads of State and/or Heads of Government, the global share of women Ministers, Speakers of parliament and parliamentarians."
The data that the IPU collects is invaluable and helps to fuel our understanding of the rules and systems that are accelerating the increase in women's representation around the globe. Note the use of proportional voting systems and gender quotas in most of the top ranked countries - as a reminder, the United States has dropped from 48th to 67th over the last two decades - to see the full list of countries click here
Women's History Month - from the team at RepresentWomen
Happy Women's History Month!
Women's History Month & International Women's Day - which is on March 8th - are both great opportunities to highlight the importance of women's representation and equality. While there has been progress toward gender balance in the United States, I find it staggering that the U.S. ranks about 70th among nations for women's representation - alongside Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Countries ranked above the United States are electing more women - faster - by focusing on institutional reforms which create more opportunities for all women to run, win, serve, and lead.